Music Reviews

‘Moments Musicaux’ from Petrit Çeku | Pure DSD album on Eudora Records

Review of Petrit Çeku‘s Moments Musicaux, a wonderful journey through Schubert’s inner world.

Another safe buy

If the guitar player is Petrit Çeku, the music based on Schubert and the recording engineered by Gonzalo Noqué, then I’ve said it all. Another safe buy. End of story.

When (a long time ago) my 14-year-old daughter had to summarize a story, she wrote something like: Two people, a beautiful girl and a handsome boy, met. They liked each other, but there were problems with the families on either side. Their love could not materialize, so in the end they killed themselves. (Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet). Her teacher didn’t accept it, saying that she had to ‘dress it up’. I’m afraid that my one-liner review above won’t be acceptable either and that I have to devote some more of my time to it to dress it up. 

So, here we go. Not all great guitarists come from Spain. Petrit Çeku is a Kosovar of Albanian nationality. Beginning his musical education in Zagreb, Croatia, to finish it in Baltimore, USA. 

His previous Eudora release ‘The Cello Suites for Guitar [Pure DSD]’ received multiple accolades.

Is he that good? Yes. If you can play Bach’s Cello Suites so convincingly, then Gonzalo is right in his prologue to this new album saying: “He is one of the very few musicians I’ve encountered who’s able to transcend what is written in the score … the true inspiration that strikes composers”. This time he draws us in the world of Schubert as arranged by Joseph Kaspar Merz, or composed ‘in the style of, or with reference to’ by Ivan Padovec, and Manuel Maria Ponce. 

Spellbound all the way

In my ‘one-liner’ I forgot to mention that his Ross Gutmeier guitar is in it as well. Fine, full-bloom sonority, no doubt thanks to the best D’Addario strings.


I won’t go as far as to say that the guitar sings the 6 Lieder with which the programme opens, but the transcriptions by Merz, drawn from the piano scores interwoven with the song lines, become in Çeku hands a marvel of true musicianship, conveying Schubert’s brain-children & spiritual phantasies in a way that the listener cannot break-away from. Spellbound, for short. These Songs are for most of us a rewarding trip down memory lane.

Even more so the ‘7 Variations sur la valse favorite de F.Schubert’ (Schubert – Trauerwalzer, D. 365, No. 2) written by the Croatian guitarist, Ivan Padovec. A simple melody increasingly impressively played by Petrit Çeku without losing one note along the road. 

But maybe less so, the ‘Sonate Romantique’, paying homage to Schubert, by the famous Mexican composer, Manuel Ponce, a kind of ‘ghost writer’ for Andrés Segovia. Schubertian melodious beauty is clearly in evidence. And that is exactly the way it is played by Petrit Çeku, drawing ‘inspiration that strikes composers’ like Schubert, keeping us Spellbound till the very end.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France.

Copyright © 2024 Adrian Quanjer and

Written by

Adrian Quanjer

Adrian Quanjer is a site reviewer at HRAudio, with many years of experience in classical music. He writes from his country retreat at Blangy-le-Château, France. As a regular concertgoer, he prefers listening to music in the highest possible resolution to recreate similar involvement at home. He is eager to share his thoughts with like-minded melomaniacs at NativeDSD.


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