Review of J.S. Bach The Four Suites for Lute by Giacomo Copiello, Victor Valisena, Michele Tedesco and Giacomo Susani, Stradivarius, 2016
I have to confess that I have the fear that I have written a not too well balanced review, I’m sorry if i would give you this impression, but I ask you to have the patience to read it anyway: the disc is beautiful, all four performers are really valid musicians, the booklet that accompanies the CD contains an essay by Stefano Grondona that we are simply obliged to read and learn, the recording quality, thanks to the sound engineer David Piva and the mastering of Andrea Dandolo, is simply amazing. Stradivarius, once again has released another high quality production.
For those who had any doubts, this review could end here, but I think we can take advantage of these spaces to listen to and read this record in a way a little bit different from usual ones. The music market is simply stuffed about Bach’s Suite for Lute for guitar recordings, full, if not inflated but this record has something special that I hadn’t met yet, four pupils of the same Maestro, in this case the italian guitar player Stefano Grondona, who play in the same disc together but not in quartet. Each one of them gets a Bach’s Suite and interprets it in his own way. The performers are all very young but, at the same time, they shows a surprising maturity and I like the idea that they play together but individually, it’s a good opportunity to understand what was their Maestro’s influence and how they have transposed his teaching.
It ‘s true, Bach Suites are a well known path but it’s equally true that they represent an almost obligatory passage for any guitarist, an experience on which he can even go back several times in his artistic life, a sort of philosopher’s stone (excusem me please for the mystical license) for debate repeatedly. I read the choice of these four Suite as the choice of a solid common ground on which musically and intellectually they could confront themselves, and as a kind of certificate of achieved artistic maturity for these four guitar players, who are young (Victor Valisena was born in 1996, Giacomo Susani in1995 , Michele Tedesco in 1992 and Giacomo Copiello in 1991) but who demonstrate a surprising artistic level. Some time ago I was discussing with a friend, ex guitarist, who complained (an Italian typical defect, unfortunately) how after Bream, Williams and Yepes there were no longer valid interpreters able to bring forward their ideas, I believe that I will force him to buy this record: first, because temperamentally I can’t stand people who complain, second because few things bother me as ignorance, assumed as a way of life. This is not true at all: the guitar in the last twenty years has made great progresses as these four young guitar players show us in their record. I think we owe it to the great educational work that has been done, it’s true the Italian Conservatories have great defects, but these are the same defects of their teachers and students: with a great Maestro there will always be great students before and after great musicians. Then it’s our job to look for this quality and to show it to other people.
As I said .. this one could be read as a partisan review … maybe.