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Paul Galbraith: French Impressions

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 28, 2006
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$17.47
$10.41 $7.97
$17.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Paul Galbraith: French Impressions + Paul Galbraith Performs Mozart, Bach & Britten + Bach: Lute Suites (Guitar Arrangement)/ Galbraith
Price for all three: $47.40

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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Delos
  • ASIN: B000F1HWBE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paul Magnussen on April 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is an astonishing achievement.

Up to now I hadn't believed that one guitar could do justice to the music of Debussy and Ravel, although I've heard some good arrangements for two — notably, Presti/Lagoya's stunning version of Clair de Lune. Mr Galbraith does in fact frequently sound like two people, for instance on Golliwogg's Cakewalk. The disc would be remarkable as a technical achievement alone, but in fact what strikes one first is the musicianship — the technique seems effortless.

This is one of the best-engineered guitar recordings I've heard, too, especially with regard to clarity and dynamic range. The acoustic, slightly reverberant, is just right (in fact, the fidelity is so good that it picks up a few moments of asthmatic breathing, but this is not obtrusive).

I must also commend the informative and entertaining notes, wherein the performer ponders his chances of getting even a slight word of praise from either of the composers, were they still alive.

The one piece that still doesn't really work for me is Pavane pour une infante défunte, which the guitar's lack of sustain reduces to a plod, despite Mr Galbraith's best efforts. I'll stick to the composer's orchestration.

That said, this is one of the best guitar releases of recent years. And I must second the comment of another reviewer — don't try to listen to it in the car!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on February 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My guess would be that the reviewer who who gave 4 stars would feel differently by now. I liked the album at first, but like that reviewer wouldn't have raved as much as for the Haydn and Bach.

Now, however, I have found the depth and complexity of this music to have come out. It doesn't hurt that I recently saw Galbraith play Ravel's "Le Jardin Feerique" to help me "get" it. Now, I find some of the pieces on this album to be some of the most deeply moving music I've ever heard on the guitar, and it is some of the best music I've heard, period. There is such a sense of repose, it would seem wonderful music for film. The true feeling of impressionism comes through.

If you are only listening to this in your car, there are too many subtleties that you'd miss. Wear headphones and enjoy. This is a masterwork, probably one of my 5 favorite classical CD's of all time- I have hundreds and hundreds and adore most of them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Redgecko on February 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is much cleaner than his recording of In Every Lake The Moon Shines Full where heavy breathing and the rustle of clothing ruined the enjoyment of almost every quiet track. Some of the breathing problems exist here also and you're sure to notice if you listen through headphones or sit in front of the speakers as is likely if you use it in your computer's drive. Some of this could maybe have been prevented by placing the mics further away to minimize string and performer noise while recording more room ambience. The resonator box that is part of his guitar system's design is no friend in the noise elimination department so he had a built-in disadvantage. The players with the very best technique, such as Williams, Parkening, Russell, Schaupp and Boyd, play so cleanly as to be uncanny. So Galbraith has competition that he doesn't quite measure up to in technique. Galbraith's expressiveness, however, is excellent and his transcriptions are far more complete and interesting than Segovia's transcriptions of some of these pieces, which everyone else plays. All in all, a unique recording worth owning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Person on October 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Yet again, Galbraith has pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible on a plucked instrument. His technique and 8-string instrument allow him full access to textures and sonorities indigionus to the piano. Yet at no point is this album a technical demonstration. Galbraith's interpretations stand comparison even to the great pianistic Debussy interpreters. His trademark sensitivity to rhythm actually is refreshing in this 'impressionistic' music - Debussy and Ravel were of course both very clear about their views on the so called 'virtuoso treatment' - they dreaded hearing their perfectly crafted textures 'spun out' by rubato and over-dramatic performers. Galbraith is right on the money here - he seems to conduct rather than play his guitar- subtle rhythmic mutations take precedence over instinctive rubato. Ravel's popular 'en la maniere de Borodine' is one piece that particularly benifits from Galbraith's sensitive yet steady approach; you will find it difficult to listen to the myriad pianistically distorted, rubato-heavy versions of this piece after Galbraith's revelation.

This is why the album is a landmark in guitar history - for a guitarist to not only match the sounds and textures once reserved for the piano, but to equal the musical achievements of pianists in their own repertoire, to add to them in fact - this album will be looked back upon in many years time as a turning point. The guitar in fact shows itself to great advantage in some moments - its orchestral colour, far less subtle than pianistic colour - allows Galbraith to phrase using sounds rather than time. Debussy and Ravel would in my opinion have been thrilled by the chiriping brightness of the upper registers, the liquid warmth of the tasto basses.
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