Spanish Guitar Music
In a shoot-out amongst the guitar's fastest guns in the west Lendle would be one of the last to remain upright—and who really cares who the last might be? There is ample proof of his agility, well applied in the pieces by Rodrigo and his re-arrangement of Alard's Estudio brillante (for which he has returned to the original score), but was Tarrega's Maria in quite such a hurry and would Segovia have evoked his Remembranza so breathlessly? The answers are, respectively, I doubt it (Tarrega was a gentler soul than that)—and I'm sure not (in 39 years I never saw Segovia in a hurry).
In the realm of guitar music 'Spanish' is virtually synonymous with 'Romantic' and this disc, the birth dates of whose composers range from 1852-1908, doesn't let you forget it; there is much sensitivity and well-judged rubato in Lendle's playing, but there is also a good deal of gush and exaggeration (as at the start of Tarrega's Capricho arabe). In the moments of calm one often senses his impatience, which gets the better of him in Torroba's Nocturno. Make no mistake though, this is a dazzling and exciting disc, in which Lendle gives his technical and emotional all; it's easy enough to skip the tracks in which you may find his excesses and overstatements unbearable. The digital recording is very clear, if not always kind to his tone in the more aggressively played passages.'