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Ponce: Guitar Sonatas

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 22, 2002
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$18.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews


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Product Details

  • Performer: Jason Vieaux
  • Composer: Manuel Ponce
  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Azica
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006YXAQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In the world of the classical guitar, there are notable luminaries whose recordings have become almost "de rigeur" for the the guitar afficionado. It's time to add Jason Vieaux's name to the list!
Vieaux's deep understanding of each piece is communicated almost effortlessly (deceivingly so) with a pallet of sonorities that are almost unbelievable. There are suggestions of a solo oboe or flute, the jangle of a harpsichord, and the whispering of an Aeolian harp throughout the CD. Vieaux's concept of phrasing and structure is flawless, and the sound of the CD puts you up-close-and-personal, yet is always natural.
Having had the pleasure of hearing and seeing him perform in person, I can confidently say that this CD is an accurate portrayal of a magnificent young artist whose career will no doubt break new ground for the genre. You won't regret purchasing this CD!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Poore on October 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
When I first started listening to classical guitar, Julian Bream was the one artist who, if he released a new recording, I would buy it without hesitation. With Bream in retirement, my current “must buy” artist is Jason Vieaux. It’s difficult to choose between his many fine recordings, but a particular favorite of mine is his 2001 release of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce’s guitar sonatas. Vieaux’s performances are warm, colorful, and vibrant. His ability to sing a line is second to none. And don’t be put off by the idea of a CD entirely devoted to one composer. Two of Ponce’s guitar sonatas are homages to other composers—Fernando Sor and Franz Schubert—and Ponce wrote the sonatas in the style of these composers. In fact, he was so successful at composing in other styles that some of his music in the baroque style was for many years misattributed to 18th century composers.

By the way, I’m puzzled by the reviewer who called this recording “a little mechanical.” Vieaux is far removed from the many guitarists who are more marksmen than musicians.

In sum, excellent music beautifully played.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What an outstanding performance Vieaux has given here! Like my fellow reviewer of this disc, I've heard him play live several times, and his musicianship is on a level that I have not heard matched in the guitar world (except maybe by David Russell). This recording exhibits a wide range of tone colors and stunning musical phrasing. Perhaps the finest aspect of Vieaux's musicality is that he doesn't give away the climax of the piece until it truly is reached - the Sonata Romantica is a great example of this. The subtlety and power of his musicality is something found more in the realm of concert piano, and Jason may be raising the musical standards of the guitar in general. Bravo! One of the finest recordings of classical music I've heard!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Juan Ortega on March 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Por sonido, calidad y personalidad interpretativa - en que se puede reconocer además una profunda afinidad con el compositor y un sólido análisis de la obras, considero que Jason Vieux nos entrega la mejor grabación que se ha realziado sobre la obra para guitarra sola de Ponce. En lo personal me gustó mucho particularmente la sonata nro 3, interpretada con mucho lirismo y fuerza, además técnica y musicalmente perfecta.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By goodmusicman on December 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
For starters, this CD featuring guitarist Jason Vieaux performing the 5 guitar sonatas of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce (1882-1948) appears to be the only CD that features all 5 extant sonatas (several fragments of others were lost), which gives it an immediate edge over any other Ponce guitar CD. Ponce was most famous for his guitar music, written mostly at the behest of A. Segovia, and the sonatas are the most substantial and satisfying works in Ponce's guitar oeuvre. The 5, as performed here, last for a duration of 79 minutes, making for a very generous listening experience.

You would have to collect different CD sets just to get Segovia's legendary recordings of these works and, frankly, Vieaux's performances are, in many respects, even better than Segovia's. Segovia tended to have rather brisk tempos and his performances sometimes lacked in rhythmic clarity (although they are still essential for guitar enthusiasts). Vieaux favors much more deliberate (not slow!) tempos and is very expressive in his playing. There is absolutely nothing mechanical about his style, as one review suggests: quite the opposite. You can sense that he really feels this music and that he is playing it like a well-loved trophy. Each sonata is lavished with extraordinary care (Vieaux studied the manuscripts for two of them) and each has its own distinctive sound, from Neo-Baroque and Neo-Classical to Romantic. Ponce had the amazing ability to compose in the exact style of early composers, which in some cases actually led to mistaken identity of the composer of some of his guitar works! Vieaux's approach is very lyrical, sometimes even lingering over phrases for greater effect, but never engaging in self-indulgence.

The sound quality is stunningly vivid--as if Vieaux is playing in your room! I cannot recommend this CD more highly. It is a must for fans of Ponce as well as for anyone who appreciates excellent guitar playing.
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