Ernesto Tamayo

Artistico

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Cuban-born guitarist Ernesto Tamayo, who is chairman of the guitar department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, has been a frequent presence on American concert series and has toured as far afield as Spain and China. He offers clean technique and warm tone in music largely drawn from the heart of the classical guitar repertory as established by Segovia and his successors. On Artistico, an apparently homemade disc (Tamayo's dog is among those thanked in the sparse booklet), he weaves together groups of dances from various places and times, noting that he considers the recording "quite a romantic one, even though I have not featured any works from the nineteenth century." The composers represented include Ponce (from Mexico), German Baroque composer Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Gramatges (from Spain), Paraguay's Agustín Barrios-Mangoré, and Federico Moreno Torroba (also from Spain) -- a work by Leo Brouwer might have offered a nicely varied perspective. The Weiss Sonata in E minor comes off as somewhat deadpan, but the Latin American works are elegantly lyrical. The sound is rather flat, but in a world in which engineers of guitar recordings seem determined to outdo each other in shoving the microphone almost into the guitar, this may be a blessing. Though it breaks no new ground (that function may be left to Tamayo's forthcoming release featuring his own works), this disc offers a pleasantly consistent program of guitar standards suitable for any commute, gathering, or listening session.

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