Compositions, methods, books, and records to be reviwed in GUITARRA magazine may be sent to Guitarra Magazine, Publication/Record Reviews, 226 South Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60604, or contact us at guitarramagzine.com
Randall Avers interprets as Frank Lloyd Wright designed. His performances consist of clear lines meant to work with the composer not dominate him. Like Wright, Avers builds a unique interpretation, but that interpretation is tied, informed and ultimately subservient to the composer's landscape. Unlike Segovia, who put a Spanish Villa on every composer's corner in Europe, Avers creates a space uniquely his but capable of working with the smoky streets of Astor Piazzolla's Buenos Aires and the samba-filled clubs of Sergio Assad's Rio. The composers inhabit his interpretations and are enhanced by them.
The CD contains a collection of mid to late twentieth-century compositions by composers of the Americas. Though most of the compositions are well-known guitar staples (Brouwer's El Decameron Negro
, Morel's Sonatina
, Assad's Aquarelle
), some spice is thrown in, as in Ian Krause's Variations on a Moldavian Hora. Those of us in college and playing competitions in the early 90's will remember this piece well, but it's worth another listen. The piece is difficult, but the fine playing allows one to see that behind this mask is a well-designed, interesting piece. Aver's nuanced performance of the little heard Valseana
from Assad's Aquarelle was the highlight of the CD for me. On a recording full of passionate, fiery performances, this little, rarely-heard piece was tender and pure.
With long term musical ideas and a remarkable dynamic range, Avers deserves more than a cursory listen in the car. If one is to truly appreciate this recording, you should lock your door and take the phone off the hook because this is a player who isn't looking at the next note or the next phrase - the entire Decameron
and the entire Aquarelle
are musical wholes. I suggest Vistas be enjoyed with a nice Argentine Malbec (1996 Bodega Norton, Mendoza) and a quiet, dark night.