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Album cover art for upc 0028948164660
Label: Contrastes
Catalog: CR201705
Format: COMPACT DISC

NICOLAS GUAY

French guitarist-composer Guay has produced an album of his own works, the first of which is Pop Fantasy, dedicated to Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and featuring a multitude of hammer-ons, pull-offs, bent notes, and other pop influenced techniques, in what is a restless and definitely tricky, but enjoyable opening. Prelude En Fa Diseur Mineur is a slow, sorrowful intro, with harmonies that are modern but always tonal. Everything builds up and then recedes a number of times, as the emotive qualities of the piece rise and fall. The following Prelude en Sol Mineur is dedicated to the memory of Roland Dyens, and although it begins quietly and sadly, it soon develops into a frantic, fast-paced piece reminiscent of Dyens' legendary technique. Sonata Campanas De La Esperanza is in three movements. The "Theme" immediately demands attention with its Spanish opening. This then evolves into an arpeggiated passage that goes through a number of uneasy and often nervously emotive ideas before linking into the tremolo-laden "Plainte." The "Final" is jerky and insistent and centered often on one repeated note before it reaches a dramatic strumming close. After four varied Preludes come a busy and exciting Tarantella and the final three-movement Sonata No. 2, Hommage a Paco de LucĂ­a. The mournful "Allegro" opening links to an emotional "Chora!" and finally a tricky-sounding "Danza." All in all, this is an involving album, beautifully played and nicely recorded.

Price: $22.99