In his versatility and range of musical interests the French guitarist and composer Roland Dyens is quite exceptional. For the performer Dyens, ‘improvisation’ is living, breathing composition. And in it he unleashes an arsenal of harmonic and melodic possibilities, and a battery of techniques that could only come from an artist of exceptional creativity and musical depth. The loving attention to detail that Dyens applies to his written compositions is almost a direct contradiction to the freedom of his concert improvisations. This ‘strictness’, however, employing the use of many new and individual symbols, also allows the interpreter truly into Dyens’ soundscape, a soundscape which is immediately appealing and accessible without ever becoming trite. Many of the colourful titles Dyens uses reveal his love of punning as well as his various, and varied, sources of inspiration, one of which is the wide musical expanse of Brazil. Villa-Lobos is a major influence, as is Egberto Gismonti, the Brazilian pianist and guitarist seen by many as a successor to Villa-Lobos. For this recital of Dyens music, eminent guitarist Elena Papandreou – whose previous release on BIS (BIS-CD-1236, featuring works by Nikita Koshkin) was called a “delightful and deeply impressive recording” in Classical Guitar Magazine – has selected her favourite works by Dyens, including two pieces dedicated to her, one of which (Triaela) is here recorded for the first time.
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