Cecilio Perera: First Prize 2011 Michele Pittaluga Guitar Competition
Another day dawns and another guitar competition prizewinner emerges. Will there be room for them all in the upper echelons of the musical world? I doubt it, but the young Mexican, Cecilio Perera—winner of the 2011 Michele Pittaluga Guitar Competition—has already created a career as performer and teacher, presently holding the post of professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. The disc opens with a breathless account of Ponce’s Preludio and he seems to enjoy presenting himself with considerable demands in terms of agility, the Gigue taken at a tempo a long way from the intended dance. I would have equally liked a little more of the ‘moderato’ indication in the opening Allegro of the Ponce’s First Sonata. Yet present him with the extreme difficulties of Leo Brouwer’s Sonata, and musically he seems to relax, the many ‘effects’ the work calls for created in the most varied musical colours. It is a piece already well represented in the Naxos catalogue, but this is the performance I would want, the unhurried central Saraband de Scriabin quite magical. More comfortable tempos continue in the world premiere recording of Julio Cesar Oliva’s Tangomania. Though composed in 2011, and taking its inspiration from Piazzolla, it is in a purely tonal style from a much earlier era, the third section having a particularly catchy tune. Vincent Emilio Sojo’s Five Pieces from Venezuela are charming miniatures, while Ponce’s equally engaging Tres Canciones populares mexicanas make for a happy conclusion. Audible left hand shifts are few; the playing technically flawless, and the Canadian team have produced another of their top-flight recordings.
-- David Denton, Naxos [9/2012]
Composer: Julio César Oliva, Leo Brouwer, Manuel Ponce, Vicente Emilio Sojo
Performer: Cecilio Perera
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