Album Review – Un Viaje Mistico by Daniel Nistico

Frequent readers of the blog will most likely be aware of the young, rising Melburnian talent that is Daniel Nistico. If not, or if you’re new to these parts, check out these posts on Mr Nistico:

Well, Daniel has been in the recording studio recently recording his debut album (financed all through a Pledge Music project). And what a debut recording it is. I promise, cross my heart, hope to die and all that, dear reader, that I’m not just saying that because I know the chap – this is a truly fantastic recording and has been playing on heavy rotation here at Classical Guitar n Stuff Towers for the last few weeks.  Dan Nistico_July2013

First up, the playing right across the album is just superb – yes, Daniel’s weapon of choice is a rather tasty Greg Smallman guitar, but he has the talent (and more) to match a guitar of this calibre. His tone is personally very inspirational for me, and I urge you to take a listen to understand what a good clear, full, fat tone without the slightest element of schmaltz creeping in really sounds like.

Daniel has put together a fantastic programme, with some well-known favourites on there as well as some lesser known material – a good balance between the two in fact, in my opinion.

The album opens with some cracking Barrios – the Mazurka Appassionata – and a simply beautiful rendition of the full Le Catedral suite. The fifth track on the album is the absolute stand-out for me and this is Daniel’s own transcription and interpretation of Sevilla by Albeniz – I love this!! Yes, it’s a well-worn favourite, but Daniel’s interpretation brings a quality that I’ve not heard in many recordings. It’s rather laid-back, unhurried, unfussy and the lines, voices and phrasing within the music are so very clear. I’m not sure of Daniel’s approach to this piece, but it feels almost like a guitarist’s interpretation of a pianist’s interpretation of guitar music. I love it! I may even be so bold as to say this is currently my favourite recorded version of Sevilla. Nice work Daniel!

Continuing on with the Spanish flavour, but with a slightly more contemporary feel is the Collectici Intim suite by Vicente Asenci (written in 1965), showcasing Daniel’s virtuosic flair as well his gorgeous rounded tone, and fantastic sense of phrasing (check out in particular IV La Gaubanca).

Moving away from Spain, Daniel brings us home to Australia with Phillip Houghton’s Kinkachoo I Love You. This lovely, mellow piece is a lovely choice in the programme to follow the rapid fire final movement of the Asenci suite.

The album is then rounded out with two absolutely stunning pieces (two that I’ll admit I’d not heard of prior to listening to this recording) and come joint second favourite for me after Sevilla. These pieces are Sonatina….after an enchantress by American composer John Anthony Lennon and the exquisite This morning in Omagh the sun rose again by William Lovelady. This piece was written as a tribute to the 29 people that lost their lives and 220 that were injured in the 1998 car-bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland. Daniel’s suitably impassioned playing on this piece is very sensitive to the inspiration for this piece and is quite simply beautiful. Actually on reflection, this one is joint favourite for me alongside Sevilla. I’ve just had the privilege this evening (I’m writing this on Sunday night) of having just seen Daniel perform this live this evening in Melbourne. Breathtaking…….

This album is a must if you’re a lover of guitar music, and looking to broaden your horizons with some newer or little-heard repertoire. Hop onto Daniel’s website for details of how to get your mitts on your own copy of his album. It’s a must!!

And watch this space for a Q&A with Daniel before he heads off Stateside to continue his studies and grow his career at the Eastman School of Music.



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