Santiago de Murcia - William Carter -

Baroque guitarist William Carter is a member of the outstanding chamber group Palladian Ensemble, and Linn's Santiago de Murcia: La Guitarra Española is his second outing as soloist, though on some tracks Carter is joined on bass viol by Palladian cohort Susanne Heinrich. Santiago de Murcia is considered the last great exponent of the Spanish five-course guitar, an instrument limited to two octaves and played here with finesse and a very high level of artistry by Carter. Though not as well known as Fernando Sor or Gaspar Sanz, de Murcia has not suffered for worthy advocates; Rolf Lislevand, Paul O'Dette, Jakob Lindberg and Richard Savino have all contributed rather substantial programs of de Murcia to the recorded literature. However, this entry by Carter is SUCH a contender - Linn's recorded sound is nothing less than perfect, and Carter's interpretations have such qualities of restraint and emotional depth as to achieve a strong sense of separateness from others. Carter spins out de Murcia's melting Passacalles with sensitivity and flexibility, and his realizations of de Murcia's dances are groovy without being ostentatious. Lislevand may rock the dances harder, but what Carter does here with Susanne Heinrich's help is equally creative, not to mention considerably less idiosyncratic. What Carter achieves on Santiago de Murcia: La Guitarra Española evokes what one admirer said about de Murcia himself during his lifetime; "hearing your supreme conceits, they say that you make poetry with your fingers, or that you versify with your hands."

01 August 2007