Sérgio & Odair Assad, guitars – Jardim abandonado – Nonesuch

by | Jan 17, 2008 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Sérgio & Odair Assad, guitars – Jardim abandonado – Nonesuch 278140-2, 57:36 *****:

The Assad brothers have been referred to as perhaps the best two-guitar team in history.  Their great artistry and amazing technical facility have set new standards for guitar duos. They have performed and recorded with such other famed artists as violinist Nadia Salerno Sonnenberg, clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Hailing from a very musical Brazilian family, their younger sister, Badi Assad, has also won acclaim for her guitar playing and singing (Chesky Records).  Sergio has also composed and arranged many works for the guitar.

There are no notes with this CD, just a listing of the 15 tracks, but one look will illustrate the diverse repertoire of the duo.  Their concerts are sure to provide a cross-section of music from many different regions and in many different styles. The leading Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim gets four selections on the CD. Another member of the Assad family, Clarice, gets three tracks and Sérgio has one. Adapting familiar classical pieces for the duo is a standard practice of the Assads, and here we have three Debussy selections, two by Milhaud, and a quite surprising arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  The sound of the duo is just perfect – rich and natural, with the separation of the two instruments just enough without being exaggerated, and without annoying string noises such as whistles.  A winning collection with very wide appeal!

TrackList: Trem para Codisburgo, Chora coracao, jpjohn from Scaramouche, Menuet from Suite Bergamasque, Laranjeiras, Tahhiyya li ossolulina, Jardim abandonado, Milagres e palhacos, Octet, Arcos da Lapa, Central do Brasil, Vif from Scaramouche, Passepied from Suite Bergamasque, Rhapsody in Blue, Prelude from Suite Bergamasque.

 – John Sunier

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