Hands up who likes listening to the “old masters” of the guitar? Recordings of Segovia, Williams and, of course, Bream? Lots of Bream!
Yup, me too. And the likes of Isbin, Parkening, Bonell and so on.
Nothing wrong with that, but if that’s all you’re listening too (and I’ll put my hands up to having been guilty of it in the past) then you’re really limiting yourself. Limiting yourself in terms of the fantastic approaches some of the newer and up-and-coming players on the scene have to well-trodden repertoire. Limiting yourself in terms of listening to some really beautiful tone production, approaches to shaping and phrasing and playing the music we love. Limiting yourself in terms of exploring forgotten repertoire that some of the newer players are bringing to light again, as well as newer repertoire.
By investigating some of the newer players you can have all of this, as well as exposure to improved recording technology which really brings out the nuances in the respective players’ interpretations. So, I’ve begun a bit of an exploration myself recently of some of the crop of the new generation of guitarists bursting onto the classical guitar stage and thought I’d share with you. The first of the young guitarists I’ve been really getting into recently is Frenchman Florian Larousse.
He’s a young whippersnapper, born in France in 1988, and began studying guitar in 1996 at age 8. He continued on to study at the Conservatoire National de Region de Paris and then the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris in 2006, studying with Roland Dyens and Judicael Perroy.
As the winner of the 2009 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) competition he recorded his recital under Naxos’ Laureate Series, which is a recording well worth checking out. Larousse plays with a fantastically warm and round tone, a great deal of clarity and sensitvity in his playing. I would go so far as to say that his interpretations of Dowland’s “A Fancy”, “Lachrimae Pavan” and “Fantasia in G Minor” are now my favourites.
Check the album out: http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.572565 It’s also on Spotify too (my new favourite music app!).
And here are some videos to whet your appetite…. Bon appetite!