Gerald Garcia – Romantic Guitar Favourites (1992)

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Gerald Garcia (born 1949 in Hong Kong) is a classical guitarist and composer.

After studying chemistry at Oxford University, he became a professional musician, making his debut at the Wigmore Hall in London. His more than fifteen CDs have sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide. In addition, he has performed with other musicians including John Williams, Paco Peña and John Renbourn.

Garcia is also known as a composer, particularly for his Etudes Esquisses for guitar, GeraldGarciarecorded for Naxos Records by John Holmquist. He is musical director of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble.

Gerald Garcia lives in Oxford, where, according to his website, he enjoys “cooking, computer music, Taoist Yoga and conducting the odd chamber orchestra.”

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This beautifully studio-recorded disc from 1989 was, if I am correctly infomed, Gerald Garcia’s fifth CD for Naxos (following on from “Concierto de Aranjuez”, “Brazilian Portrait”, “Latin American Guitar Festival” and “Baroque Guitar Favourites”). It contains some of the “prettiest” music for classical guitar that I have ever heard, although I should add in the same breath that there is, in fact, no music for classical guitar at all on the disc – all the pieces here recorded are transcriptions of music for violin solo (Paganini’s Caprices), for violin and guitar (Paganini’s Grand Sonata), for piano (Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words) and for voice and piano (Schubert’s Lieder). The Paganini and Mendelssohn appear to have been transcribed by Garcia himself, whereas the Schubert was congenially adapted for the instrument by Johann Kaspar Mertz, a 19th century Bohemian guitarist. The title of the CD, “Romantic Guitar Favourites”, is therefore a complete misnomer, but that in no way affects the enjoyment to be had from listening to what, to my non-expert ears at any rate, is some excellent guitar-playing in first-rate audio quality. The notes, written by Gerald Garcia himself, are brief but informative. (Leslie Richfordon)

Gerald Garcia has made an estimable series of CDs for Naxos, and this one is no exception. He has a beautiful sound for Romantic guitar music. His tone is large, his passage work never becomes coarse or astringent, and his overall conceptions are lush sounding and warm. The Mendelssohn and Schubert transcriptions are preformed with a great deal of delicacy, almost dreamy. The two Paganini Caprices are brilliant display pieces that Garcia dispatches with style and ease. As for the Paganini Sonata, it is an engrossing work that Garcia never lets sound heavy. Add a full spectrumed sound engineering picture, and you have a very appealing album. (David Saemannon)

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Personnel:
Gerald Garcia (guitar)

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Tracklist:

Niccolò Paganini:
01 Caprice Nº91 + Caprice Nº9

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy:
02. Venetian Boat Song I (Song Without Words Op. 19 Nº 6)
03. Song Without Words, Op.19 Nº4
04. Song Without Words, Op.53 Nº4
05. Song Without Words, Op.85 Nº2
06. Song Without Words, Op.62 Nº4
07. Venetian Boat Song II (Song Without Words Op. 30 Nº 6)
08. Allegro Risoluto

Niccolò Paganini:
09. Romanza

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy:
10. Andantino Variato
11. Caprice Nº24

Franz Schubert:
12. Praise Of Tears
13. Love’s Messenger
14. Serenade
15. Delay
16. Fisher Maiden
17. The Post

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More Gerald Garcia:

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