Brett Gunther – Guitar Music

Brett Gunther – Guitar Music
Listen to samples or Buy: Guitar Music (via Amazon)

For those of you who don’t know Brett Gunther, he is a great guitarist and educator on faculty over at Mount Royal University-Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta. He is also the artistic director of the Calgary Classical Guitar Society. I was just in Calgary last November adjudicating and stayed with Brett and he kindly gave me a copy of his new CD. Actually, I was curiously hovering over it at a concert as the cover photo is him sitting on the edge of the stage of the Alix Goolden Hall of the Victoria Conservatory where I teach.

Junto Al Generalife (Rodrigo)
Nocturnal (Britten)
Un Sueno En La Floresta (Barrios)
Rito De Los Orishas (Brouwer)
Fantasia On Themes from Verdi’s La Traviata (Tarrega)
Koyunbaba (Domeniconi)

Gunther gives a solid performance on all the works but the highlights for me were the Brouwer and the Domeniconi. The Brouwer is a well known piece but not recorded as often as the other works on the album. This track impressed me due its combination of virtuosity and overall mood. 

Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70 by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was composed in 1963 for guitarist Julian Bream and is one of the guitar repertoire masterpieces. Here Brett’s solid playing is expanded with some nice atmospheric colours. In particular, the slower movements such as Musingly are perfectly paced. Restless, Uneasy, and Dreaming also display a great sense of mood and musical direction.  

Brett pulls off the Rodrigo nicely including some quick and beautiful tremolo moments, interweaving dark motifs, and impressive dance and scale work. The Barrios has some sweet and touching moments and a beautiful tremolo performance as well. The Tarrega is well played and nicely phrased.

The Domeniconi is wonderfully executed. The presto is blazing fast and super impressive.

A debut recording and a fantastic success. Gunther plays some of the guitar’s most beloved works and showcases his versatility as a skilled player. The Brouwer comes off as a refined artistic expression and listeners will be impressed with his musicality and sense of space and direction in the Britten and Domeniconi. Guitarists out there will be interested to hear his solid performances of the Rodrigo, Barrios, and Tarrega. The Domeniconi is super impressive and provides all the flash and momentum one could want. Brett Gunther is one of Western Canada’s finest guitarists and I eagerly await his next release.

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