Bach & Barrios: Guitar Works / Bardesio
This album brings together things that at first glance don’t appear to have much in common: works by the two artists Johann Sebastian Bach and Agustín Barrios, who lived in distinctly different cultures many generations apart. However, the intriguing aspect of combining two so very disparate worlds is that shared elements only become apparent when they are placed side by side. Born in Uruguay, guitarist and composer José Fernández Bardesio began playing the guitar as an 11-year-old. He gave his first solo recital when he was only 15. He won first prizes at many renowned national and international competitions, including the Alirio Díaz (Gold Medal, Caracas), the Andrés Segovia Competition (Granada), the OAS Special Prize, and the Infanta Cristina Competition in Madrid.
Since making his debut in the United States and Spain in 1984, Bardesio has performed as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras in the Americas, Asia and Europe. He regularly appears at international guitar festivals and performs at important music centers including the Royal Festival Hall (London), Hall of the Americas (Washington, D.C.) and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York). He is featured in recordings with broadcasters in Venezuela, the US, Spain and France and his discography in the US, Spain and Germany bears testimony to his artistry. His albums are released by Hänssler Classic and his compositions with Hofmeister Musikverlag in Leipzig.
If one had to identify an individual outstanding gem from this recording, which showcased the overall virtues of Fernández Bardesio, it would be the Mazurka Apasionada by Barrios. He composed in various styles, and the Romantic European style is strongly evidenced here; both tracks 1 and 13 have that common root. The influence of Chopin can also readily be recognized in this music. One detects a particularly strong empathy for the music in this rendition.
Fernández Bardesio is a master guitarist who demonstrates high levels of technical command over the instrument, and similar qualities of musicianship, in this recording. In comparing his renditions of Barrios and Bach, one gets the feeling that he is more at home with the former. That feeling is heightened when again listening to Bream play the Bach Lute Suites. There will always be disagreement about the ‘correct’ way to play this music, compounded by one’s overall preference for revered renditions of the past.
The instrument used on this occasion is not identified. However based on the accompanying photographs, and his past employment of an instrument by Daniel Friederich, it would be safe to assume that this same instrument was played here. This recording embodies an enjoyable programme, and fine guitar playing. The juxtaposition of Bach and Barrios’ while thematically interesting, inadvertently displays musicianship more at home with the latter.
-- MusicWeb International
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Catalog Number: HC21047
Label: Haenssler Classic
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Agustin Barrio, Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Jose Fernandez Bardesio