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 >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'The orchestral sound is big...confident and film-score vivid, and demands extraordinarily virtuosic playing from American master Eliot Fisk.'
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 - Gramophone

01 August 2017
William Yeoman

The American composer Robert Beaser has the happy knack of writing orchestrally yet idiomatically for solo classical guitar. Just listen to the rippling, toccata-like figurations, driving Latin rhythms and colourful, often highly percussive sonorities of Notes on a Southern Sky. Composed for longtime friend Eliot Fisk in 1980 and revised for this premiere recording, it strives to overcome the very limitations it celebrates. But maybe that’s indicative of any art that, like Beaser’s, celebrates our flawed humanity?

Two other works on this disc are orchestral; they too receive their first recordings. Ground O is a moving tribute to the victims of 9/11. Evening Prayer was written for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and takes as its starting point the folk song ‘Esti dal’ as published by Kodály in his Choruses for Mixed Voices. The Guitar Concerto, written for Fisk in 2010, also draws its inspiration from folk material – flamenco and bluegrass – as well as the music of the Baroque.

Beaser is an exponent of so-called New Tonalism. He also originally trained as a percussionist. Together with a propensity for motivic development as a unifying principle, these facts make his music accessible, emotionally direct and exciting. All four works have those qualities in abundance. But they are most pronounced in the Guitar Concerto, a thrilling, expansive composition brimming with terrific ideas. Performed here with Fisk’s fearless virtuosity and a clearly inspired RSNO conducted by Beaser advocate Serebrier, it is unquestionably, like Stephen Goss’s Guitar Concerto, an important contemporary contribution to the genre.

Bookmark and Share

Related Links

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