EMI Classics 0946 3 56418 2 0, 67:09 ****:
Angel/EMI has released this collection as a companion album to Christopher Parkening’s autobiography, which was published last month by Tyndale House. It features a dozen recordings which are deeply personal to the classical guitarist, and are discussed at length in his book. In addition, the CD opens with a preview track from a new Parkening album due out in September – with baritone Jubilant Sykes. The CD also closes with the first release ever of a concert performance by the 15-year-old Parkening, of the last movement of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s First Guitar Concerto. A movement of the Rodrigo Aranjuez concerto is of course included, as well as Tarrega’s tremolo study Recollections of the Alhambra.
Parkening has been called the leading classical guitar virtuoso of our day, and he has captivated audiences around the world for over three decades. He has recorded for Angel Records during that entire time, so there was plenty in the vaults to select from to support the autobiography. Three of the tracks feature Parkening performing together with symphony orchestra – one of them a movement from Elmer Bernstein’s guitar concerto with the composer himself conducting.
– John Sunier