Classica Venezolana – Annette Maiburg, flute/ Fabiola Jose, soprano/ Nirse Gonzalez, guitar/ Jesus Gonzalez Brito, cuatro – MDG

by | Jun 1, 2011 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Classica Venezolana – Annette Maiburg, flute/ Fabiola Jose, soprano/ Nirse Gonzalez, guitar/ Jesus Gonzalez Brito, cuatro – MDG multichannel SACD (2+2+2) 61:10 [Distr. by E1] *****:

This is the third album that flutist Annette Maiburg has masterminded involving music of South American or Caribbean music—the first two were Classica Cubano and Classica Argentina. She is an accomplished German flutist (who currently heads the Lower Rhine Festival) formerly with the Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra, and associated with the Bamberg and Cologne Radio Symphony WDR, among many others. She got together with guitarist Nirse Gonzalez to brainstorm this album, and I must say that the results are sterling. They draw on a wide variety of Venezuelan music types, mix-metered dances to milking songs, pure instrumentals to extraordinarily affecting folk songs, bringing a high degree of artistry to everything on the program.

I often have problems with recordings like this, which are often contrived and superficial, but this one is quite different, as each musician is broad-based in experience and intensely educated in his or her own fields of expertise, and all come together out of genuine love for this particular cultural heritage, the spreading of which is almost a national effort in Venezuela, whose educational efforts in music are second to none worldwide.

MDG’s sound is perfect here, the absolute exact amount of air surrounding the players, and the whole sound gorgeously resonant and warm. This is an essential recording for all those stuck in a classical rut. But don’t take my word for it—travel out to YouTube for a promo video and search around for this group for some lovely live performances. However, note to MDG marketing:  include translations next time, to something other than German when marketing in another country—it does help, you know.

— Steven Ritter

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