Composers: Sor, Bach, Koehne, Brouwer, Piazzolla
Compositions: Guitar works
Performers: Rupert Boyd g
Catalogue Number: Sono Luminus DSL-92231

New York-based Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd’s third solo outing returns us to the vibrant soundworlds of Piazzolla and Brouwer while introducing Baroque and Viennese Classicism into the mix. When I listen to Boyd I’m reminded of the playing of David Russell. There’s that same clean technique, broad tonal palette and intelligent musicianship. It’s the style that respects the composer and the music without allowing one’s ego to be subsumed by them.

The two Jobim pieces which open the program feel so vibrant, so alive and yet reflective of the fleeting nature of life. Boyd manages to breathe new life into Sor’s Introduction and Variations on a Theme of Mozart – no mean feat – by emphasising the flashes of romanticism in the classical clothing. Bach’s E Major Lute Suite exhibits a beautifully contained exuberance, which gives it a peculiar energy. The Prelude flows so purposefully into the calm Loure before the more energetic dances again pick up the pace to urge us to the end – and the sustained meditation that is Graeme Koehne’s A Closed World of Fine Feelings.

A selection of Brouwer’s simple-yet-sophisticated Estudios Sencillos is as welcome as it is rare, Boyd highlighting the Bachian as much as the Afro-Cuban elements. They’re a perfect preparation for Piazzolla’s Milonga del Angel and La Muerte del Angel, which find Boyd at his expressive best. Lennon and McCartney’s Julia brings this terrific recital to a disarmingly simple end.