Review of A Tribute to Ida Presti Music for solo guitar by Cinzia Milani, Brilliant Classic, 2017
French guitarist Ida Presti was a woman with a great personality and a remarkable charisma. Ida Presti was born in Paris on May 31 1924 by a French father and a Sicilian mother. At the age of six, his father, a great admirer of Segovia, handed her a guitar, instrument for which she immediately demonstrated a prodigious talent that allowed her to give her first concert eight and a half years old, the first great recital at Pleyel Hall in Paris at ten and the first recording at eleven. After the difficulties during the World War II she encountered Alexandre Lagoya, their encounter was extraordinary (even Maestro Lagoya was a child-prodigy, his career started since the age of thirteen) and each of them decided to give up gradually their solo career to form the duo Presti-Lagoya: a duo characterized by a very balanced and egalitarian relationship: Lagoya made a large number of transcripts, Ida Presti became composer and they both urged great contemporary composers such as Jolivet, Petit, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Rodrigo and many others, for the enrichment of a new original repertoire, also made of concerts for two guitars and orchestra. They founded a real French guitar school. First at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, then with an International Academy in Nice and finally at the Paris National Conservatory with a class assigned to Ida Presti just before her death and then occupied by Alexander Lagoya. Ida Presti died suddenly and prematurely during a concert tour in the United States at the age of 42, probably due to an inaccurate medical visit.
She was a very interesting personality in a world that saw Andre Segovia’s figure as a lighthouse. So I greatly appreciated this tribute to her titled by the Italian guitarist Cinzia Milani. In fact, Milani did not only do excellent record work interpreting and recording of some of the pieces composed by Presti, but she did a serious and accurate work of musical investigation by finding pieces dedicated to the French guitarist, discovering unpublished and forgotten music .
This is a choreographic and accurate work that runs through the 19 tracks of the cd, which are signed by Presti, Alexandre Lagoya, Miguel Abloniz, John W. Duarte, Dimitri Fampas, Gontran Dessagnes, Francis Poulenc, Guy Mornacon and Cinzia Milan (“Quattro Mi”).
Compared to her previous “Guitar”, made in 2014, I can see the big jump made by her artistic maturity done in these three years by the Italian guitarist, three years of concerts, activities and study are not an easy thing and have definitely left the mark, bringing to a more mature and safe sound. Really a great job.