11 Moments MusicauxMoments Musicaux
Petrit Çeku
Eudora Records EUD-SACD-2401 (eudorarecords.com)

Guitarist Petrit Çeku was born in Prizen, Kosovo and began his musical studies at the Lorenc Antoni music school before attending the Zagreb Academy and completing his studies with Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Since then, he has performed recitals throughout Europe and continues to perform regularly with the Zagreb Soloists. This Eudora label recording titled Moments Musicaux is his third and affords the listener a glimpse into the world of Franz Schubert either through transcriptions or compositions with a Schubertian connection.

Joseph Mertz’s transcriptions of six lieder – four from Schwanengesang, one from Winterreise and a standalone, Lob der Tränen – are all skillfully constructed miniatures, as compelling for the guitar as they are for voice. Çeku’s warmly resonant tone helps to evoke a true sense of intimacy – from the anguished tone of Aufenthalt to the familiar Ständchen 

The Variations on a Waltz of Schubert Op.4 by Croatian composer Ivan Padovec is a charming set based on the Waltz Op.9 No.2. Beginning with the simple waltz melody, the seven variations require considerable dexterity, but Çeku easily meets the challenges with a supple technique. 

Manuel Ponce was one of the first Mexican composers to be widely recognized outside his native country and during his career he had close ties to the renowned guitarist Andrés Segovia. His four-movement Sonate Romantique “Hommage à Schubert” is written in a lyrical style of which Schubert surely would have approved. In the words of Segovia, the piece “honours the instrument “ – and so does Çeku throughout this fine recording.

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