Santiago de Murcia - William Carter -

This disc of music by Santiago de Murcia is entitled La Guitarra Espagnola and it is a very appropriate title - the very essence of Baroque Spanish guitar music is conveyed by William Carter with perfection and is captured most beautifully by Linn.

The music is ordered in a nicely contrasting fashion so that the more lively gigues are broken with contemplative passacaglias. In many ways, this music is the ideal balm to a hectic or stressful day. In some works, Carter is joined by Susanne Heinrich on bass viol, providing a delicate yet firm plucked accompaniment. Heinrich's contribution came about on tour where she improvised the accompaniment and as Carter says in his notes - "so much for musicology and preconceived ideas"!

Carter's playing is beyond reproach and the dedication of his musicianship is such that it draws one in - this is no purely academic study but one that is audibly deeply felt; so much so that he conveys his love of this repertoire with startling clarity and conviction to the listener.

As to the recording, it is an absolute joy to the ear. The sound Linn gives Carter (and Heinrich) places them in your home with a lovely sense of presence without ever feeling intrusive. I would almost go so far as to say that one couldn't better capture the sound of a Baroque guitar - but one can dream!

Very highly recommended.

15 September 2007