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Sharon Isbin|Nightshade Rounds

Nightshade Rounds

Sharon Isbin

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Kudos to Sharon Isbin for recording Nightshade Rounds, a series of challenging modern works for classical guitar. This collection of six pieces, with the exception of George Gershwin's "Preludes for Piano," was written in close collaboration with classical guitarists, with two of the compositions written explicitly for Isbin. William Walton's "Five Bagatelles," composed for the legendary Julian Bream, opens the disc, providing Isbin an excellent vehicle to display both her incredible technique and her exquisite phrasing. The piece itself is slightly jazzy at times, although jazzy in a Gary Burton/Chick Corea sort of way (i.e., making great use of European classical idioms, tonalities, and forms). There is also some use of quasi-flamenco devices, such as the slapping of the body of the guitar for rhythmic effects. It is very modern and very self-consciously guitaristic. Bruce MacCombie's "Nightshade Rounds," a piece written for Isbin, is a fascinating study in repetition, as a trance-like series of arpeggios gives way to halting, stop-and-start themes that dissolve into space before its successor picks up the trail. It is a beautiful piece and one that Isbin is well-suited to executing. The other piece written expressly for Isbin is Joan Tower's "Clocks." True to its title, Tower's composition imitates the resonant knelling of a grandfather clock at its opening, and mirrors Walton's "Five Bagatelles" in that it accelerates into passages of almost flamenco-like arpeggios. Again, it is a composition well-suited to Isbin's style. All in all, Nightshade Rounds is a fine introduction to some rare pieces of guitar music and to Sharon Isbin's extraordinary playing as well. Highly recommended.
© Daniel Gioffre /TiVo

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Nightshade Rounds

Sharon Isbin

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1
5 Bagatelles: No. 1, Allegro
00:03:50

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - William Walton, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

2
5 Bagatelles: No. 2, Lento
00:03:27

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - William Walton, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

3
5 Bagatelles: No. 3, Alla cubana
00:01:59

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - William Walton, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

4
5 Bagatelles: No. 4
00:02:18

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - William Walton, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

5
5 Bagatelles: No. 5, Con slancio
00:02:28

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - William Walton, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

6
Nightshade Rounds
00:10:12

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - Bruce MacCombie, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

7
3 Preludes: No. 1, Allegro ben ritmato e deciso (Arr. Barbosa-Lima for Guitar)
00:01:45

George Gershwin, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Arranger

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

8
3 Preludes: No. 2, Andante con moto "Blue Lullaby" (Arr. Barbosa-Lima for Guitar)
00:04:09

George Gershwin, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Arranger

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

9
Clocks
00:09:12

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - Joan Tower, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

10
English Suite, Op. 31: II. Folk Song
00:04:30

Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist - John Duarte, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited ℗ 1994 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

11
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: I. Musingly
00:02:09

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

12
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: II. Very Agitated
00:00:50

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

13
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: III. Restless
00:01:39

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

14
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: IV. Uneasy
00:01:20

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

15
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: V. March-Like
00:01:35

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

16
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: VI. Dreaming
00:02:02

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

17
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: VII. Gently Rocking
00:01:15

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

18
Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70: VIII. Passacaglia
00:07:00

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Steve Barnett, Producer - Sharon Isbin, Guitar, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2022 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 1994 Parlophone Records Limited

Album Description

Kudos to Sharon Isbin for recording Nightshade Rounds, a series of challenging modern works for classical guitar. This collection of six pieces, with the exception of George Gershwin's "Preludes for Piano," was written in close collaboration with classical guitarists, with two of the compositions written explicitly for Isbin. William Walton's "Five Bagatelles," composed for the legendary Julian Bream, opens the disc, providing Isbin an excellent vehicle to display both her incredible technique and her exquisite phrasing. The piece itself is slightly jazzy at times, although jazzy in a Gary Burton/Chick Corea sort of way (i.e., making great use of European classical idioms, tonalities, and forms). There is also some use of quasi-flamenco devices, such as the slapping of the body of the guitar for rhythmic effects. It is very modern and very self-consciously guitaristic. Bruce MacCombie's "Nightshade Rounds," a piece written for Isbin, is a fascinating study in repetition, as a trance-like series of arpeggios gives way to halting, stop-and-start themes that dissolve into space before its successor picks up the trail. It is a beautiful piece and one that Isbin is well-suited to executing. The other piece written expressly for Isbin is Joan Tower's "Clocks." True to its title, Tower's composition imitates the resonant knelling of a grandfather clock at its opening, and mirrors Walton's "Five Bagatelles" in that it accelerates into passages of almost flamenco-like arpeggios. Again, it is a composition well-suited to Isbin's style. All in all, Nightshade Rounds is a fine introduction to some rare pieces of guitar music and to Sharon Isbin's extraordinary playing as well. Highly recommended.
© Daniel Gioffre /TiVo

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