The Guitar (2019)

Lennon, McCartney, Piazolla, Brouwer, Koehne, Bach, Sor, Jobim

Rupert Boyd

Classical Guitarist Rupert Boyd returns to Native DSD with his newest album The Guitar.  The album features Boyd performing the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Fernando Sor, Johann Sebastian Bach, Leo Brouwer, Astor Piazzolla and John Lennon and Paul McCartney's song Julia.

The Guitar follows Boyd's first album, Boyd Meets Girl, where Rupert Boyd joins his wife cellist Laura Metcalf for a duo performance of a wide ranging selection of music.  Boyd Meets Girl is the # 1 Best Selling DSD Album on the Sono Luminus label at the Native DSD Music store.  It is linked below for your convenience.

This album pays homage to the guitar. While the casual listener may recognise many of these works as favourites from the guitar canon, the majority of the repertoire wasn’t originally written for the instrument.

Only the Sor and the Brouwer were originally guitar compositions. The other works started life in a different form, and stand testament to the strength and versatility of the guitar to not only play such a diverse range of repertoire, but to truly embrace it.

With its polyphonic capabilities and roots in popular music around the world, the guitar is singularly capable of such a traversal of styles. This album is not, as the title may imply, a collection of the most beloved or greatest hits from the classical guitar repertoire, but is instead a demonstration of the power of the guitar to perform such a variety of beloved repertoire.

 

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Rupert Boyd

New York-based Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd is acclaimed as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation. He has been described by The Washington Post as “truly evocative,” and by Classical Guitar Magazine as “a player who deserves to be heard.” His performances have taken him across four continents, from New York’s Carnegie Hall, to the Barcelona Guitar Festival in Spain, Strings-139 Festival in China, Festival de Musique Classique in France, Gharana Music Festival in Nepal, and every state and territory in mainland Australia. In addition to his Carnegie Hall debut as part of the D’Addario Music Foundation’s “International Competition Winners in Concert” Series, Rupert Boyd’s recent performance highlights include the Newport Music Festival, National Gallery of Art (D.C.), Music in the Strathmore Mansion, Marlow Guitar Series, Grand Canyon Guitar Society, Boston Guitar Society, University of Denver, University of Hawaii and concerts in India, Nepal and the Philippines. In New York, Rupert Boyd has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Classical Guitar Society, Merkin Concert Hall, Trinity Wall Street, Bargemusic, (Le) Poisson Rouge, SubCulture, and with a diversity of groups such as New York Festival of Song and Moving Theater Dance Company. Active as both a soloist and chamber musician, Rupert Boyd regularly performs throughout the world as part of the Australian Guitar Duo with guitarist Jacob Cordover, and in Boyd Meets Girl, with cellist Laura Metcalf. The Australian Guitar Duo was a prize winner of the Chamber Music section of the Australian Guitar Competition, and its debut CD Songs from the Forest was described as “wonderfully entertaining” by Classical Guitar Magazine, and “very impressive” by Soundboard Magazine. Boyd Meets Girl released its debut recording in July 2017. Rupert Boyd holds a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) from the Australian National University School of Music, a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and an Artist Diploma from the Yale University School of Music. His major teachers have been Timothy Kain, David Leisner and Benjamin Verdery. In addition to winning the Andrés Segovia award from the Manhattan School of Music, Rupert Boyd was also a winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition and winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition. Rupert Boyd resides in New York City. Photo: Simon Yu
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The Guitar (2019)

Lennon, McCartney, Piazolla, Brouwer, Koehne, Bach, Sor, Jobim

Rupert Boyd

    Canberra Critics Circle -

There’s a special quality about classical guitar playing – it evokes a peace and a calm. Even when it’s doing full-on flamenco or fortissimo agitato, that peace and calm sits underneath comfortably and reassuringly. And so it is with Rupert Boyd’s new album, The Guitar. In a program as diverse as Bach and Lennon/McCartney, Boyd captures that peace and calm beautifully on his Smallman, from 2011. The guitar is one of the most versatile instruments. Whilst it enjoys a plethora of music specially written for it, its ability to create melodies and harmonies simultaneously, as well as the full range of expression, means lots of other music can be adapted for it with relative ease. Thus it is with The Guitar, with five of the seven offerings being arrangements of works written without the guitar in mind. And masterful arrangements they are, too. On The Guitar, two bossa novas by Jobim are at the top of the program, with Roland Dyens’ arrangement of the first, Felicidade, tricking the listener into thinking the opening driving rhythm will resolve into something quite rocky. But Jobim’s unmistakable bossa stylings come through soon after, albeit in that up-tempo mood that continues throughout. A gentler bossa style follows in Paulo Bellinati’s arrangement of Estrada Branca. Then follows a brilliant work by the Spanish guitarist and composer, Fernando Sor, who shared the first 13 years of his life with Mozart’s last. He must have liked Mozart’s music (don’t we all?) because he wrote a set of variations on a theme from The Magic Flute. This is a well-known and much-loved work in the guitar repertoire and presents quite some challenges for the guitarist. Boyd meets the challenge head-on, giving an assured performance. Equally assured is his performance of Bach’s Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a, the second iteration of the partita for solo violin, from around 1740. Conjecture has it that the re-working was for the lute, but some argue that it was for the lute-harpsichord (Bach owned a couple). Either way, it fits perfectly on the guitar, and Boyd gives it life and energy. The Guitar also sports an Australian composition – a work transcribed for guitar from the original piano composition, A Closed World of Fine Feelings, by Graeme Koehne. It’s an introspective work, written for, in Koehne’s words, “a slightly naïve, wonderfully sensitive and somewhat introverted individual”. It has some unique harmonies and a middle section that contrasts the outer parts, and Boyd gives the piece a lovely sensitive treatment – peace and calm shining through. The second work written especially for guitar comprises the first ten short movements of Cuban composer, Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos (“Simple Studies”). Boyd paints wonderful imagery from a palette of rich colors, exploring the many timbres of his instrument. The Uruguayan guitarist Baltazar Benitez wrote arrangements for guitar of some of Astor Piazzolla’s music and The Guitar carries two of them – Milonga del Angel and La Muerte del Angel, composed as music for a play. The first “Dance of the Angel” carries a gentle rhythm, with just an underlying hint of tango, and Boyd plays some beautiful rubato in a most sensitive treatment. The second, “Death of the Angel”, starts much more upbeat and jazzy, with hints of flamenco and tango, and a more reflective, balladic middle section, giving way to a return of the stronger rhythms of the first, building a frenetic climax that ends abruptly. Boyd pulls out the many moods of the piece, particularly in the middle section, almost lulling the listener, before snapping the listener back to attention for the conclusion. Ending this delightful album is Boyd’s own arrangement of Julia, by Lennon and McCartney. It’s a quite short (2”), reflective piece, which might seem somewhat incongruent to the rest of the program on the album. But it fits quite nicely, with a gentle rhythm and lovely harmonies underneath a very simple (almost single note) melody. There are some modern playing techniques, too, which give it just that little bit of extra color. The liner notes are excellent, with each work given an engaging narrative, and in a typeface that doesn’t require a magnifying glass. Illustrations are simple, yet poignant. The recording quality is excellent, too; Boyd’s guitar is close-miked, giving the sound a real presence and honesty. The Guitar is a very warmly entertaining album. Its diverse programming gives it a versatility that takes the listener to many places, from the concert hall to the favorite armchair at home. I’m looking forward to listening to its 60 minutes of warmth on a cold, wet, windy winter’s day, in front of the fire, with a warming single malt, or perhaps next summer in the cool shade of the garden, sipping on a pinot!

Clinton White[read full review]

The Guitar (2019)

Lennon, McCartney, Piazolla, Brouwer, Koehne, Bach, Sor, Jobim

Rupert Boyd

Digital Converters: Horus (recording) and Hapi (mastering), Merging Technologies
Editing Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Daniel Shores
Mastering Room: Legacy Audio Speakers
Producer: Dan Merceruio
Recording Engineer: Daniel Shores
Recording Location: Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia on May 7-10, 2018
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Technician: Allison Noah
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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DSL92231: The Guitar
00:59:55   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Felicidade Arr. R. Dyens for Guitar
Jobim
00:04:41   Select quality & channels above
2.
Estrada branca Arr. P. Bellinati for Guitar
Jobim
00:02:47   Select quality & channels above
3.
Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9
Sor
00:08:03   Select quality & channels above
4.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - I. Prelude
Bach
00:04:21   Select quality & channels above
5.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - II. Loure
Bach
00:03:25   Select quality & channels above
6.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - III. Gavotte en rondeau
Bach
00:03:18   Select quality & channels above
7.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - IV. Menuett I - V. Menuett II
Bach
00:04:53   Select quality & channels above
8.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - VI. Bourree
Bach
00:01:37   Select quality & channels above
9.
Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a - VII. Gigue
Bach
00:02:03   Select quality & channels above
10.
A Closed World of Fine Feelings Version for Guitar
Koehne
00:05:20   Select quality & channels above
11.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 1, Movido
Brouwer
00:00:45   Select quality & channels above
12.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 2, Coral. Lento
Brouwer
00:01:09   Select quality & channels above
13.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 3, Rapido
Brouwer
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14.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 4, Comodo. Allegretto
Brouwer
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15.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 5, Montuno. Allegretto
Brouwer
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16.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 6, -
Brouwer
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17.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 7, Lo mas rapido posible
Brouwer
00:00:38   Select quality & channels above
18.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 8, Tranquilo
Brouwer
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19.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 9, Scherzo
Brouwer
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20.
Estudios Sencillos - No. 10, -
Brouwer
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21.
Milonga del angel Arr. B. Benitez for Guitar
Piazolla
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22.
La muerte del angel Arr. B. Benitez for Guitar
Piazolla
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23.
Julia Arr. R. Boyd for Guitar
Lennon,McCartney
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