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Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez / Villa-Lobos: Concerto for Guitar / Ponce: Concierto del Sur

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sharon Isbin performs concertos by Rodrigo, Villa Lobos and Manuel Ponce on this fabulous CD featuring the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JosÚ Serebrier. Titles are: 'Concierto de Aranjuez' (Rodrigo), 'Concerto for Guitar' (Villa-Lobos), 'Co
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Product Details

  • Performer: Sharon Isbin
  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Jose Serebrier
  • Composer: Joaquin Rodrigo, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Manuel Ponce
  • Audio CD (August 16, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00069KFKK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1980 I had the opportunity to purchase an album called "Classical Guitar Vol. 2" by Sharon Isbin which was recorded by "Sound Environment Series" in a stone church in St. Paul, Minnesota. This album contained works by Bach, Britten, and Brouwer. I nearly wore the vinyl out during the first month of ownership! I could not believe my ears! At that time I thought to myself, "Sharon Isbin is a world class guitarist; someday she will make history."

Indeed 25 years later she has done just that.

This historic, (first ever with guitar) recording with the New York Philharmonic demonstrates Ms Isbin's delicate guitar artistry with one of the world's greatest orchestras. Although the Rodrigo "Concerto de Aranjuez" is a well loved favorite, I was not very familiar with the Villa-Lobos and Manuel Ponce concerti. It is in these two concerti that Ms Isbin truly captivates the listener. The Ponce in particular is such a dynamic work that it is astounding that this work is not better known. I have no doubt that now that Ms Isbin has recorded this concerto with the Philharmonic, it will become a requested program in the coming years.

Sharon Isbin once studied with Rosalyn Tureck who remarked, "Sharon Isbin is gifted with a brilliant technique, an unusual intellect and spiritual qualities- all of which flower in her performance." How eloquent and accurate a statement.

What are you waiting for? I implore you to buy this CD and experience what I (and the world) have waited 25 years to hear.
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Format: Audio CD
Sharon Isbin is one of the finest classical guitarists America has ever produced, and her performances have graced records and CDs for the better part of a quarter of a century. Here on this recording made last summer with conductor Jose Serebrier and the New York Philharmonic, she takes on three great concertos for her instrument--the super-popular "Concierto De Aranjuez" of Joaquin Rodrigo; the Guitar Concerto of Heitor Villa-Lobos; and "Concierto Del Sur" by Manuel Ponce.

The brilliance of her playing is manifested in each of these three works, with the Villa-Lobos and Ponce concertos being especially good because they are so tricky. Undoubtedly, many will take this CD because of Rodrigo's celebrated piece. It is a work that Ms. Isbin recorded once before in 1989 with Lawrence Foster and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; and while this second recording may not exceed that recording (which the late composer acclaimed as the best version of "Aranjuez" he had ever heard), it comes very close to matching it.

Equally important to the recording is the superb accompaniment of the New York Philharmonic in the first-ever recording of a guitar concerto this orchestra has ever done. Serebrier, a former assistant to Leopold Stokowski and George Szell, conducts with a great attention to each of the nuances of these works. A tremendous achievement for all concerned all the way around.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm sure that Sharon Isbin does not exactly live for Grammy Awards, although they certainly don't hurt a performer's career. However, it is astonishing to me that her collaboration in this recording with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Jose Serebrier was not seen fit to merit at least a nomination for the 2005 awards. I'm sure that all of the nominees and the winner (announced the previous night) gave fine performances, but they could not have been any more compelling than this one.

I've heard many recordings of classical guitar with orchestra, and none that I have heard surpass this one. It is true that Isbin made a previous recording of the Rodrigo in 1989 with Lawrence Foster and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra that received critical acclaim and that Rodrigo himself praised her performance then as among the very best. However, that earlier recording contained one major flaw: the guitar was apparently not miked separately from the orchestra. As a result, the orchestra often covered her playing to an annoying degree. (If the guitar did have its own miking, the engineers did not bother to use it when they created the master.)

The current recording of the Rodrigo has all of the artistry of that first recording and none of its defects. The presence of both guitar and orchestra is, indeed, intimate. As a result, so much more of her interplay with the orchestra, as well as her unmatched range of color and dynamics, not to say technical brilliance, stand out brilliantly.

Sharon is, perhaps, unique among guitarists recording today in coming closest to the expressive range found only in Segovia, even to the point of almost matching his apparently unmatchably warm vibrato.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am truly mesmerized by this recording! After hearing Sharon Isbin perform this past summer live with the New York Philharmonic I was moved to tears. She is not only impeccable in technique, but also an artist capable of instilling great emotion into her performances. My experience has been that studio recorded guitar with orchestra lacks the intimacy of the live concert experience. That is not the case with this CD. I am amazed that finally the natural sound of Ms Isbin's live guitar has been captured in a recording that truly allows her to shine in the presense of an orchestra. What a treat to have not one, but three thrilling and captivating concerti. The Rodrigo is perfection. The passion she brings to the Villa-Lobos and Ponce concerti is overwhelming. A most amazing CD!
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