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Trio Campanella - Suite Iberia
The piano is not the guitar and the guitar is not the piano. Comparing the two would be like comparing New York and LA. Two great cities separated by thousands of miles. Two great cities at different ages and stages in their development. Two different cultures and plenty of animosity. But both filled with vibrant people.
Listening to the Suite Iberia is like seeing a building built in New York by an LA native. The natural sounds of the guitar transplanted to the alien landscape of the piano. Well, the Trio Campanella has brought this beautiful construct home, to the guitar, and if Albeniz had known of such a trio as this, he would have written the piece for them.
Christophe Dejour deserves our applause for his masterful transcription. Albeniz has been transcribed to death, but usually a piece at a time. Hearing the entire Suite Iberia transcribed turns what could be another potpourri recording into a concept album - a singular, Howard Roarkian view calmly contradicting convention.
How appropriate then, that Christophe performs on this realization of his vision of Albeniz's music. The trio executes a difficult transcription with rubato and dynamics and most of all an ensemble worthy of note. Approaching almost eighty minutes of music, Trio Campanella's disc contains the best trio playing I have heard.
Too often, such recordings are lost in the crowded skyline created by the capacious catalogue erected by Naxos. But this is a masterpiece that stands out from the rest.