Guitar Works

Author: 
John Duarte

Guitar Works

  • Valse
  • (La) Muerte del ángel
  • Waltzes, No. 3 (c1919)
  • Choro da saudade
  • Julia Florida
  • (4) Valses Venezolanos, Andreina (E minor)
  • (6) Valses Venezolanos, El Marabino
  • (6) Valses Venezolanos, El negrito
  • Canción de cuna, 'Berceuse'
  • Ojos brujos
  • Sons de carrilhoes
  • Interrogando
  • Sonho de magia
  • Si ela perguntar
  • (5) Preludes

It has been unhelpful to South American composers that the widespread view of them has been as writers of colourful miniatures and dances, not to be taken too seriously, but at the same time it has brought them enviable popularity—frequently celebrated, as in this programme of easy listening. The most substantial segment is that of the Villa-Lobos Preludes, which it has become fashionable to record integrally and of which there are many versions available—though none more persuasive than Kayath's. He is a Brazilian, as Villa-Lobos was, and conveys the dignified sadness that is in the national character, e.g. in the central section of No. 3, where some others merely emote. At the other extreme there is ample animation but it is not overdone, as a technical display, though he certainly has the fingers for it. The only moments of discomfort come in Nos. 1 and 2 where there is pitch-distortion of some (melodic) bass notes.
Kayath is a player of the utmost refinement, with a fluent technique and clear tone, and he plays with a maturity beyond his 23 years, never confusing warm expressiveness with gushing sentimentality. There is great charm in this lightweight collection and several items have no other recording; it is warmly recommendable to guitar-lovers and aural 'easy-riders' at large. The inlay booklet translates El negrito as ''the black boy''; to avoid ethnic misunderstandings it could have been made clear that it refers to the colour of Lauro's son's hair, not his skin! And Vals venezuelanos (are) is an ungrammatical hybrid—Valses venezolanos is not.'

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