Agustin Barrios Mangore’s first public appearance was as ‘the Paganini of the guitar from the jungles of Paraguay.’ This flamboyant image was soon retired, but his legacy as a composer has endured and flourished, as have the recordings he made as the first guitarist to take advantage of new technology from as early as 1910. Ranging from romantic enchantment to fearsome virtuosity via works with Bach-like restraint, this programme embraces Barrios Mangore’s art from his earliest known piece, Abri la puerta mi china, to the reconstruction of the substantial Diana Guarani from a recording made in 1943. Celil Refik Kaya was awarded First Prize at the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in 2012 and has since receivedRead more multiple awards from several prestigious American guitar competitions, as well as the Rising Young Musician of the year from the Donizetti Classical Music Awards in Istanbul in 2017.
Celil Refik Kaya is an eminent guitarist and the technical challenges, which are sometimes quite testing in Barrios’s music, are negotiated elegantly and effortlessly. The recording and production at large are in the safest of hands with radar couple Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver in charge and with Graham Wade’s all-embracing liner notes as guide book. There is also uncommonly extended playing-time, more than 84 minutes! You get a lot of music for your money.
– MusicWeb International
Barrios has the twin virtues of a disciplined, classical backbone and a lushly romantic outlook. Celil Refik Kaya brings a spontaneity to the more hackneyed salon pieces, and suitable gravitas for the more complex works. Virtuosity and musicianship galore are on display in this superb release.