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I was introduced to the music of Antonio Lauro (1917-1986) by my first partner, who was a budding classical guitarist. There were not a huge number of recordings of his music around at the time, but I was struck by his clear melodic simplicity and a style that was very much in keeping with the late nineteenth and early twentieth century style of Spanish guitar writing and playing. There are fifty-two tracks on two CDs.
Listen — Antonio Lauro: Natalia (4 Valses venezolanos)
(96627 CD1 track 8, 0:07-0:32) ℗ 2023 Brilliant Classics :
Most of them are short pieces or a collection of pieces within a set, and they share a joy and vivacity, and sometimes a wistful meditativeness that I find attractive.
Listen — Antonio Lauro: Angostura (Valse venezolano)
(96627 CD1 track 10, 0:18-0:54) ℗ 2023 Brilliant Classics :
The guitarist, Cristiano Poli Cappelli, is a very accomplished artist and plays with technical accomplishment, a nice clean style, a strong sense of rhythm and obviously strongly identifies with this repertoire. There was a guitarist who very much impressed me with early recordings of Lauro’s pieces, all of which appear on this current set, called David Russell. I feel their approach is similar and I do enjoy both.
Listen — Antonio Lauro: Allegro (Sonata)
(96627 CD1 track 22, 3:07-3:40) ℗ 2023 Brilliant Classics :
Antonio Lauro was born in Venezuela and had a strong musical upbringing. Even though his family, after the death of his father, did not really support his decision to study music, he went ahead and studied composition, piano and violin, but also guitar under the esteemed teacher Raúl Borges. He was very impressed on hearing the playing of Agustín Barrios Mangoré - a fine Paraguayan guitarist and composer, whose music has also become well known - and decided at that point to concentrate on guitar.
Listen — Antonio Lauro: Estudio IV (Estudios en imitaciones)
(96627 CD2 track 14, 0:00-0:22) ℗ 2023 Brilliant Classics :
The recording also includes a Sonata and a short three-movement suite in homage to the celebrated guitar composer John Duarte.
I recommend this recording to anyone who loves and appreciates fine classical guitar playing, for the quality of the music and that of the fine performer, who also wrote the programme notes.
Copyright © 27 February 2023