Musicians are often “repertoire curators”, as Fabio Zanon writes in his sleeve notes for Otto Tolonen’s new recording. Guitarists know this well, since they lack the vast historical repertoire of, say, pianists. In this vein, Tolonen offers portraits (retratos) of composers somewhat unfitting in conventional roles.
The release is more a laid down recital than an ordinary recording. For example, the movements of Piazzolla’s Las Estaciones Porteñas are not heard successively but with other compositions between them. The resulting dramatic curve associates nicely with the passing of time within a year or in the course of a life and so on. Tolonen’s command of the instrument and its possibilities is as admirable as always. Listen to, for example, his rendition of Las Seis Cuerdas by Alvaro Company.
If one wants to be critical of something, the highest sforzandos are perhaps a bit harsh at times, and D’Angelo’s Due Canzoni Lidie isn’t as interesting a composition as are the others. Still, this release is a must for any guitar aficionado and probably Tolonen’s best recording. As of yet.
TOLONEN: Retratos. Recital for Guitar
Piazzolla: Las Estaciones Porteñas; Regondi: Nocturne – Rêverie; Company: Las Seis Cuerdas; D’Angelo: Due Canzoni Lidie; Ramirez: Alfonsina y el Mar
Otto Tolonen (guitar)
Alba ABDC 419