Adriano Del Sal
It’s not often you get to hear Fernando Sor and Ennio Morricone on the same programme. But that’s just one of the attractions in this enjoyable recital by young guitarist Adriano Del Sal, 2009 winner of the Tárrega International Guitar Competition, which is held each year in Benecasim, Spain. Admittedly Carlo Marchione’s arrangement for solo guitar of the famous “Gabriel’s Oboe” from Morricone’s score for The Mission is strictly encore fare, and Del Sal does well to perform it last here, where it makes for an enjoyable after-dinner mint.
The real meat-and-potatoes is Fernando Sor’s superb Fantaisie, Op 7, and Rodrigo’s equally fine Invocación y danza, with a selection of miniatures by Tárrega serving as an entrée and Torroba’s colourful Pièces caractéristiques as a palette cleanser between courses. A serial first prize-winner in numerous international competitions, Del Sal possesses a remarkable technique and a refined musical sensibility. Thus the Tárrega is all elegance, with subtle rubato and plenty of dynamic shading; the Sor is made to feel like early Beethoven, that is to say, a combination of portentousness and charm; the Torroba is beautifully characterised (I especially enjoyed the exuberance of “Los mayos” and the generous tone of the final “Panorama”); the flamenco outbursts in the Rodrigo appropriately seem to come from a darkly smouldering core. So, another fine addition to Naxos’s Laureate Series, which has over the years brought so many wonderful young guitarists to the attention of the broader listening public.