Otto Tolonen’s first solo recording is wonderful. Effortless playing and a total control of sound colours, together with a musically and historically interesting set of recorded works, leaves little room for further desires.
The contents of this CD illustrate the journey of the guitar into a fullfledged concert instrument after its 19th-century withdrawal to Spanish national Romanticism. Five of the members of Les Six had a prominent role in this shift, but still the guitar works of Auric, Milhaud, Poulenc & co. are too often ignored in music-history writing.
Tolonen’s version of Ohana’s classic Tiento leaves no one untouched. The Satie arrangement brings an ironic close to the imposing whole. The only minus goes to the quality of the recording: it is a bit blurry in the middle frequencies.
OTTO TOLONEN: Tiento français – 20th century French and Spanish guitar music
Ibert, Samazeuilh, Auric, Tailleferre, Milhaud, Poulenc, Ohana, Migot, Roussel, Asencio, Satie
Alba ABCD 357