Chamber Works for Guitar and Strings
"It is my great pleasure to introduce this very special recording featuring chamber works for guitar and strings. For this release Greek classical guitarist Thanos Mitsalas has surrounded himself with five of his country's top string players to record an album dedicated to some of the chamber music that I have written over the years. The results demonstrate a profound knowledge and understanding of chamber music beautifully recorded by this remarkable ensemble."
"It is truly an honor to have my music so well presented in this excellent recording."
Composer - Sergio Assad
“The Quartet works seamlessly with Mitsalas in creating just the right aural textures and color. This is a brilliant disc of new paths in guitar and ensemble music, and one hopes Mr. Assad will continue to gift us with more efforts like this.”
Kirk Albrecht for Minor 7th
"Composer Assad gets top billing on this 52-minute program, which contains two long chamber works for guitar and four or five strings (two violins, viola, cello, double-bass).
First up is “Mikis”: Concerto Fantasia for Guitar & Strings, a world premiere recording of a piece Assad wrote in 1999 in tribute to and based on the music of the great Greek composer Mikis Theordorakis, specifically on a collection of pieces Theodorakis wrote inspired by some poems by Federico Garcia Lorca. It’s a sumptuous work, filled with great, sweeping melodies, a few angular modern touches, and a number of lovely guitar passages, all of which are handled deftly by the superb Greek guitarist Thanos Mitsalas. The integration of the guitar and the strings is masterful. The second piece, a collection of five “world dances,” delivers what the subtitled sections promise and much more: “Middle Eastern” is appropriately charged and hypnotic, “Celtic” starts with a lilting Irish ballad feel and then jumps into a complex jig, etc. But leave it an imaginative composer like Assad to never fall into the cliches of the various genres, but instead use the rudiments of those musical languages as jumping-off points for his own extrapolations. Again, Mitsalas works well in every style and he and his bowed-strings compatriots are always right in the groove together.
A truly wonderful album!"
Classical Guitar—Blair Jackson