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Affinity / Sharon Isbin

Release Date: 05/22/2020 
Label:  Zoho Classix   Catalog #: 202005  
Composer:  Chris BrubeckLeo BrouwerAntonio LauroTan Dun,   ... 
Performer:  Sharon IsbinColin DavinIsabel Leonard
Conductor:  Elizabeth Schulze
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maryland Symphony Orchestra

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This release by guitarist Sharon Isbin takes its title from the opening "guitar concerto" by Chris Brubeck, which proposes an affinity between jazz and classical music. Fans of jazzman Dave Brubeck may want the album for this work alone; composed, like all of the rest of the music here, for Isbin, it includes a passage she suggested that is based on one of the elder Brubeck's melodies and has quite a personal flavor. Yet the title may be taken in another way: much of the music is Latin influenced, but also shows affinities with other traditions of the world. This is effective, for the listener keeps expecting the music to slip into conventional Latin sounds, but it never does. Isbin plays on this tension elegantly in the Read more classicized Latinism of composer Leo Brouwer, who wrote his "El Decameron Negro" for Isbin back in 1981 when she had just appeared on the scene. The least Latin work on the program is the guitar-accompanied "three-song cycle" by Richard Danielpour with which it concludes. Its texts, by poet Rumi, propose an affinity between the divine and the sensual, both exemplified gloriously by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and one suspects that a performance of the work in a Latin country would be enthusiastically received. The whole project is testimony to how admiration for this extraordinary guitarist has persisted as guitar music has fallen out of fashion and shown signs of rising again. An added attraction is the sound engineering from the Zoho label, known primarily for Latin jazz, R&B, and swing rather than for classical guitar music. Isbin's guitar is straightforwardly and warmly presented, with no extraneous string noise. Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Guitar "Affinity" by Chris Brubeck
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Conductor:  Elizabeth Schulze
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maryland Symphony Orchestra
El decameron negro by Leo Brouwer
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; Cuba 
Waltz for Guitar No. 3 "Natalia" by Antonio Lauro
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar), Colin Davin (Guitar)
Desires (7) for Guitar by Tan Dun
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2002; China 
Of Life and Longing by Richard Danielpour
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar), Isabel Leonard (Voice)

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