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Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez; Villa-Lobos, Ponce / Isbin, Serebrier, New York


Release Date: 01/11/2005 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 60296   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joaquin RodrigoHeitor Villa-LobosManuel Ponce
Performer:  Sharon Isbin
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



This, amazingly, is the first time the New York Philharmonic have ever recorded with a solo guitar. This, then, is quite a first because between them and the soloist Sharon Isbin, they bring these often hackneyed works to life.

As well as the ever-popular Rodrigo, lsbin plays the delightful Villa-Lobos concerto, premiered by Segovia in 1956. It's a tremendous work and it would be good if her advocacy helped it gain a stronger foothold in the concert-hall.

– Gramophone [4/2005]

Three guitar favorites superbly played

This disc, the first by the New York Philharmonic with a guitarist, turns out to be rather more
Read more that the sum of its parts: overproduced, sometimes fussy and what a friend called "a bit of a schmaltzfest," it is nevertheless quite superb. Confused? Let's try some comparisons.

Sharon Isbin's new recording of the Rodrigo stands in roughly the same relation to her recording for Virgin as a finished oil painting does to a watercolour sketch. Where the earlier version was fresh, spontaneous and on the whole more fluent (especially in the numerous scale passages), the latest is more rigorously thought-out and more brilliantly executed, the NYPO providing a rich impasto backdrop to Isbin's sharply etched solo work. Sometimes it doesn't come off, as in the messy semiquavers towards the end of the first movement or the general tendency to overplay the instrument - but perhaps I'm just being churlish about what really is a marvellous achievement.

The Villa-Lobos, likewise, is impressive. Comparing this recording with Norbert Kraft's, I found myself enjoying the chaotic, jungle-meets-metropolis world even more with Isbin and the NYPO: their sharper delineations and precise orchestral balance give the work a modernist piquancy that's lacking in Kraft's amiable virtuosity.

Segovia's 1958 account of Ponce's Concierto del Sur is so full of character that it's hard to imagine its being bettered; Isbin's comes close, with a tonal variety that certainly gives the Master a run for his money and a wonderful first-movement cadenza in which individual notes 'sing' in true Segovian fashion. But what's missing is Segovia's virile yet sensitive approach - which I'm happy to say is more than compensated for by Isbin's superior collaborators. Gilding the lily? Definitely - but, boy, does it convince!

– William Yeoman, Gramophone [4/2005]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Spain 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Right Track Studio, New York City 
Length: 22 Minutes 45 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Guitar, W 501 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; Brazil 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Right Track Studio, New York City 
Length: 18 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Concierto del Sur for Guitar by Manuel Ponce
Performer:  Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1940; Mexico 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Right Track Studio, New York Cityl 
Length: 25 Minutes 44 Secs. 

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