Leo Brouwer: Bandurria and Guitar Music

review brouwer x1 cong

This does what it says on the label: Cuban Leo Brouwer is acknowledged as one of the most challenging and innovative of contemporary composers, and this is his music for bandurria — a lute-type instrument dating back to the c16th — and guitar. The former is perennially popular in South America, says the Press notes.

It’s slightly avant-garde in places, though in a restrained acoustic guitar kind of way, and despite his boldness in composing, Brouwer manages to keep a rustic feel to the music. The Review Corner travelled round Cuba a little bit, staying in villages with families, and it did bring to mind some of the little towns we wandered in.

Unaccompanied piano goes down well with us, unaccompanied guitar less so but we guess that for those who prefer things the other way round, this would be a tranquil and interesting collection of tunes. It’s got a pleasant mix of the modern and early music. The playing, by Pedro Chamorro and Pedro Mateo González, is superb.

Naxos 8573363.

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