The joy of getting CDs you’d never normally come across is that of discovery and we were curiously pleased to find the Amadeus Guitar Duo, a husband and wife mini-industry (though perhaps not so mini, they probably have the castle next door to Andre Rieu) who between them have churned out close to 20 albums and play 70 gigs a year. It’s nice to know such things exist. They’re very good players of course, and being married they gel together musically.
As its name suggests, Baroque Moments is baroque favourites transcribed for the guitar and performed by the duo.
It opens with Handel’s 1 Chaconne in G major, HWV 435. This was originally composed for piano, and the duo show their skill by playing in a way that evokes the original instrument. This is followed by one of Vivaldi’s most famous concertos, the D Major RV 93 — originally written for lute and, again, transcribed to great effect.
If we’re going to be critical, it’s basically a high-end Now That’s What I Call Baroque Guitar, and it all gets a bit background in places; depending on your mood you might find César Franck’s Prelude, Fugue E Variation, Op. 18 either moving or a background piece better suited to a film soundtrack, but whatever, it’s all played really well. It’s always damning by faint praise to say it makes good background music, but: a good book, a dark night and something playing quietly in the background….let’s just say that this is an option.
The gigs on their website go up to 2017 with nary a note plucked on British shores, sadly. Out now on Naxos 8573440.