Related Reviews
The New Criterion
'Fisk plays brilliantly. His sound is strong yet sensuous. The RSNO under the direction of conductor José Serebrier play their hearts out, with a sound that is full and rich, yet also transparent.'
more >>
The Whole Note
'Fisk’s performance is simply brilliant...The RSNO performance under Serebrier is outstanding.'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'It's a most attractive work in an open and welcoming style which combines delicacy, half-light and a dazzle of joyous detail.'
more >>
'...the Guitar Concerto [is] a thrilling, expansive composition brimming with terrific ideas. Performed here with Fisk’s fearless virtuosity and a clearly inspired RSNO...'
more >>
Naxos Deutschland Blog
'Wow! What an opening!'
more >>
Classical CD Choice
'...this subtly winning guitar concerto by Robert Beaser [is] played with understated sensitivity by Eliot Fisk...'
more >>
RBB Kultur Radio
5 Stars
'José Serebrier, an accomplished conductor of contemporary music, leads the Royal Scottish National Orchestra confidently through Robert Beaser's neotonic sound worlds...'
more >>
The Herald
'Powerful works with attention-grabbing crescendos...'
more >>
4 Stars
' gives the listener a good impression of Beaser’s music which is performed very well by Eliot Fisk and conductor José Serebrier.'
more >>
Classical Guitar Magazine
'[A] fascinating disc...Fisk is right on it every second.'
more >>

RSNO - Beaser: Guitar Concerto - BBC Music Magazine

01 August 2017
BBC Music Magazine
Rob Ainsley
4 Stars

Performance: 4 stars

Recording: 5 stars 

Rodrigo's Aranjuez dominates the guitar concerto repertoire like a fast-food chain – one website lists over 120 recordings. So new alternative works are always welcome, such as this dashing concerto by US composer Robert Beaser. The orchestral sound is big (although the orchestra itself isn't large), confident and film-score vivid, and demands extraordinarily virtuosic playing from American master Eliot Fisk. The first movement uses the guitar almost as a tuned-percussion instrument, with relentlessly busy soaring and plunging runs, strummed fusillades and tamboras. The elegiac second is the heart of the work with its emotionally piercing, memorable melodic line: a lutelike, improvisatory dialogues edgily with the stately orchestral lines. The third has more fast solo work, with cascades in the style of Domeniconi's Koyunbaba, more 'Middle Eastern' than 'Spanish'. Fisk's tone throughout is snappy and metallic, wholly appropriate to the corruscating guitar figures. (There's even hints of rock-guitar 'shredding').

The solo piece Notes … is melodically more elusive but uses some smart, unusual sonorities. Two rich orchestral pieces round off the disc, but the star is the concerto. The second movement's instantly likeable soundtrack-style nobility in particular deserves to be a classical radio favourite.

Bookmark and Share

Related Links

Eliot FiskEliot Fisk
Jose SerebrierJose Serebrier
Royal Scottish National OrchestraRoyal Scottish National Orchestra
Beaser: Guitar ConcertoBeaser: Guitar Concerto