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“Invocación – Impressions of Spain”
Isaac Albéniz: Chants d’Espagne, op. 232 (trans. Watt)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Invocación y Danza (Homage to Manuel de Falla)
Antonio José: Sonata para guitarra
Manuel de Falla: Homenaje pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy
Francisco Tárrega: Capriccio Arabe

Ian Watt (Guitar)
Recording: St. John’s Church, Fetternear, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (May and August 2011) – 64’ 47
Nimbus Alliance # N16172 – Booklet in English

Teen prodigy Ian Watt knows his way around frets and strings...and remarkably so. Ever since his debut at the 2005 Aberdeen recital, the Scotsman has made an indelible impression in the world of classical guitar. Garnering numerous awards throughout the past several years, Ian Watt is fast becoming a household name, reaching into continents well beyond his United Kingdom homeland. This premiere recording of Watt’s artistry is a momentous occasion for “Invocación – Impressions of Spain” unequivocally raises the bar of gold standards.

Works of five, all hailing from Spanish origins, are featured, spanning a period of almost 150 years. An underlying Iberian flair expounds, but each of the composers’ style and technique are pleasingly discovered. Although Isaac Albéniz never intended his Chants d’Espagne for guitar, Ian Watt does a masterful job in transcribing the piece, especially in the “Seguidillas” segment. Shades of Concierto de Aranjuez can be heard in Rodrigo’s Invocación y Danza, but it altogether takes on its own distinct form. The tremolo passage is particularly impressive. Sonata para guitarra by Antonio José is an exemplification of contrasting movements, balancing a sullen, pensive “Pavana triste” alongside the snappier “Allegro con brio.” Paying tribute to one of his contemporaries, Manuel de Falla seals his homage to Claude Debussy by subtly extracting a few measures of the Frenchman’s own La soirée dans Grenade. Finally, Ian Watt can be heard interpreting the exotica in Capriccio Arabe with careful diction and lilting vivacity.

Ian Watt uses all the right punctuations in all the right places, making the musical construct a stellar example of his ardor, his genius and his excellence.

Christie Grimstad




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