In addition to the Bach Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV998 there are two pieces by Albéniz, four by Tárrega, one by Giuliani and two by Brouwer, along with Preludes Nos.2 & 5 by Villa-Lobos and Agustin Barrios Mangoré’s La Catedral. Transcriptions of two Debussy pieces – La fille aux cheveux de lin and Danseuses de Delphes – complete a highly satisfying program.
Kolk’s technical mastery and musical sensitivity are evident on every track, and are perfectly captured by the intimacy of the recording. The tone is sumptuous across the instrument, with a rich resonance in the lower register and clarity and warmth in the high register, where, in some hands, the guitar can tend to sound somewhat tight and thin. Not here, though! Intonation is faultless throughout; the use of vibrato is beautifully judged, and there is a virtual absence of left-hand finger noise.
The CD was recorded by producer Peter Capaldi and engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, at Glenn Gould Studio where Kolk said it was “so quiet it was almost alarming at first. Every nuance comes out…” And what nuances they are! This is playing and musicianship of the highest order, and an absolute must-buy CD for anybody who wants to hear just how wonderful guitar playing can be.
Concert Note: Michael Kolk is featured with the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society on March 25 at 8:00pm in the KWCMS Music Room.