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One is bowled over the by the sheer force and passion of Edoardo Catemario's recording Guitar XX. He plays with the aggression of Yamashita, but with, if one can imagine, a purely European machismo and flair. Mr. Catemario's power often outstrips the capabilities of his instrument, an Enrique Garcia from 1918, for his dynamic range reaches well beyond the capabilities of his instrument. In sensitive moments, of which there are many in the recording (Tedesco's Andantino, Martin's Air), the instrument shines, showing a breadth of color, warmth and openness to vibrato which younger instruments simply do not have. But it is in the blazing moments when I wish Mr. Catemario had an instrument robust enough to handle his ideas (I would love to hear him on an old Ramirez).
Mr. Catemario's program consists mostly of compositions from the first half of the last century, what many would deem the Segovia repertoire (Rodrigo, Tedesco, Tansman, Ponce). His readings are fresh, as if he had not been swayed by the multifarious interpretations currently on record. His greatest gift seems to be his shaping of lines and his imaginative use of tenuto (for examples, see his reading of the very familiar first movement of Sonata Meridional).
Casares's Son a Tango is the only piece which seems out of place. As the only non-European composer on the disc and composing from a different model (Tango as opposed to Flamenco), Casares serves to cleanse the palette. The passion of the tango and the sentimentality, which balances it in the work, are both heard in Catemario's performance (and quite welcome after a disc of oft heard compositions).