CD Review: GUITAR MUSIC OF MEXICO (Cecilio Perera, guitar; various composers)

by Frank Arthur on May 1, 2018

in CD-DVD

Post image for CD Review: GUITAR MUSIC OF MEXICO (Cecilio Perera, guitar; various composers)

SERENE, SEDUCTIVE, SENSUAL

Perfect for background music at a Sunday brunch, Guitar Music of Mexico is an accumulation of almost-all late twentieth-century Mexican compositions for guitar, each played by the extremely articulate Veracruz guitarist Cecilio Perera. Similar in tone to the great Spanish works by Albéniz, Granados, Rodrigo and Turina – all of whom wrote in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century – these works are less adventurous and less classical but more traditional, which means they aren’t the most demanding works to play.

Even so, as in Perera’s own “Marina,” many tracks offer a serene, introspective, seductive beauty. The eight composers (many of them concert guitarists themselves) share a very pleasing but similar tonality – happy, sunny, vibrant, romantic and breezy — whether with catchy rhythms or just in evoking pastoral locales and people of the Mexican region. It’s a very generous CD, and very well-produced, with almost 76 minutes of music. Two of the works are extended three-movement scores (Imágenes de Yucatán and Sonata para – El Final de los Tiempos by Julio César Oliva), which shift in color and mood. The sensual singing quality – exemplary in Juan Helgura’s “Un retrato” and Cutberto Córdova’s “Mabi” – forms the backbone of all 18 tracks. The similarity makes the journey a bit one-note, but if you’re looking for a stress buster, this is it.

photo of Cecilio Perera by Arturo Escobedo

Guitar Music of Mexico
Cecilio Perera, guitar | various composers
Naxos Classical CD 8.573674 | 18 tracks | 75:26
released March 9, 2018
available at Naxos and Amazon

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