Homages: A Musical Dedication

Reviewed on Thu 15 Jan, 2015

The theme of Swiss guitarist Christoph Denoth’s latest album is pieces specifically dedicated to “a person, a town or a landscape.” A broad enough category that allows for considerable variety, from Renaissance works for vihuela by Luis de Narváez (La Canción del Emperador – dedicated to Josquin des Prez – a splendidly melancholic piece) to a series of works from a familiar roll-call of masters of modern guitar music, among them Albéniz, Sor, Falla, Villa-Lobos and Rodrigo. Villa-Lobos’s Cinq Préludes, originally written for Segovia in 1940, is the album’s centrepiece; Denoth proves an expressive, fluent interpreter, bringing out the contrast between rhythmic chordal accompaniment and legato melodic lines. Among many other fine works, Miguel Llobet’s Canço del Lladre ('Song of the bandit'), with its delicate incorporation of harmonics, is a miniature delight. Denoth’s warm guitar sound is sympathetically captured in Signum’s fine recording. A treasurable album for lovers of Spanish guitar music.
–Mark Walker