Classical guitar music is a constant and always reliable music choice for me. There's always a ton of it on my iPod. This week I've been playing the newest addition to my stash: Ana Vidovic "Guitar Recital" and "Moreno-Torroba: Guitar Music, Vol. 1".
The latter features the mind-wandering series of musical paintings, "Castillos de Espana". These usually can put you into a daydream anytime, anywhere. The same is true listening to them here but the Vidovic style is so different from what I'm used to hearing -- both in performance and record production -- that it took a couple of listenings before the old effect kicked in. I was being forced to actively listen first, then I could flow with it again.
The differences in performance style and in recording techniqe stand out even more on the "Recital" album. Full of familiars of the guitar repertoire, there are no standard presentations here. At first there was a stick-in-the-mud reaction to the old friends being made so unfamiliar. Sometimes there is a reactionary struggle to figure out what the differences are or where they come from. Is it mature artistic style or youthful misunderstanding? Is it different equipment or a difference in the cultural ear, if you will, that creates that far away sound -- like the Segovia recordings of the 1950s?
But it doesn't take long at all to get over that reactionary silliness and just start enjoying the beautiful music. Purely enjoying.
Along with the albums on my iPod (available for download above, by album [a bargain] or by the track); there is a complete 2004 concert available for on-demand streaming from the Lincoln Center Millenium Stage archive. Find it, delightfully, here: http://tinyurl.com/mmgrro