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Smaro Gregoriadou's constant experimentation is evident on 'A Healing Fire' / pizzicato

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The Greek guitarist Smaro Gregoriadou is known for her constant experimentation with the guitar sound. On this CD, you can experience this once again. The programme begins with the Violin Sonata No. 2 BWV 1003, for which the instrument has been tuned five semitones higher than the standard guitar tuning in order to better match the frequency range of the original violin. In Bach's multi-layered work this results in a thoroughly attractive sound, which would certainly not be so magnificent without Smaro Gregoriadou's excellent phrasing and dynamic playing.

The modern compositions on the CD are played in standard tuning. Britten's Nocturnal about Dowland's song ‘Come, heavy Sleep, the image of true Death' is heard in a very finely differentiated interpretation, which expresses very well the mood swings of this musical meditation.

Gubaidulina's expressive Serenade leads to the Suite pour guitare by the Canadian Jacques Hétu (1938-2010). The Suite, composed in 1986, with five relatively short movements, begins with a somewhat unwieldy prelude. This is followed by a Nocturne, while the third movement, the Ballade by Smaro Gregoriadou, is effectively heightened. The fourth movement, Rêverie, leads to the finale, which the guitarist plays with a lot of drive and tension, before the meditative middle section, in stark contrast, provides a breathing pause to gather strength for the virtuoso coda. Also in this piece, Smaro Gregoriadou's full and rich guitar sound is top class.

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