The last time Gabriel Bianco had graced us with a solo album, it was in 2009, for the label Naxos, to celebrate his winning f the GFA Competition. It is with great anticipation that we waited this new opus, recorded this time for the label Ad Vitam Records, a French label which, among others, does a remarkable work for the guitar for a few years. Capricci, Italian music for guitar: this is how Gabriel chose to name this record, in which he defends a remarkable renaissance, classical and romantic repertoire. Gabriel has a formidable technique, and his playing has no defects. But the interpreter is not only a wonderful technician, he is also a quite remarkable musician.
And this can be widely felt through the disc : the musical choices seem even more obvious, than Gabriel is perfectly mastering his instrument. And he rides the listener with all the ease of the greatest soloists. Note the perfectly controlled and subtle articulation in the Scarlatti’s Sonatas, the extraordinary virtuosity of the Paganini’s Grand Sonata in A Major, which makes even smile as it seems unreal – even unprecedented – especially in the third movement; color finesse in the fantasies of Da Milano, and edgy sensibility of the performer in the works of Regondi.
Only astonishing point: the overall sound of the disc, very dry, which may surprise on first listening. But once exceeded this point, we understand that this is a choice of the production to give us the benefit, in some way, of a private concert of Gabriel at home. For it is what it is, and you will feel it even more with headphones: the disc sounds as if Gabriel was sounding the strings of his Smallman just next to us. No more guitar CDs drowned under tons of reverb to hide individual defects. Here the artist engages fully and truthfully to the listener, to our delight.
Paris Guitar Foundation
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