Roland Dyens, Hamsa : I. « Première nouvelle »
Claude Debussy, Suite bergamasque : III. « Clair de lune »
Arnaud Dumond, Lumières sur le Saint-Laurent
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Forestare, the Montreal ensemble of 12 guitars and a double bass celebrates its close ties with France on Douze Guitares à Paris, an album dedicated to works by Debussy and Ravel and compositions by contemporary French guitarists Roland Dyens and Arnaud Dumond (ATMA Classique ACD2 2835 atmaclassique.com/en).
A dozen guitars sounds like a lot of separate voices, but the arrangements here are all in four parts with three players assigned to each, a system essentially ensuring a strong, even tone with no loss of dynamic range.
Hamsa by Dyens (1955-2016) is followed by Debussy’s Suite bergamasque. An effective transcription of Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye comes between the two impressive works by Dumond (born 1956): the terrific Allegro barbaro for ten guitars, double bass and two soloists, and his Lumières sur le Saint-Laurent for solo electric guitar and classical guitar ensemble.