THIS JUST APPEARED IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF CLASSICAL GUITAR
CD available at Gyre Music
E. CORDERO EL Carbonerilo. R. WESTERHEIDE: Mistral. E. STOPLER: Luminescence. P. Van der
STAAK: Theme, Variations et Finale; Tombeau. A. KRUISBRINK: Tendresse. A. BARRIOS: Gauota al
E stilo Antiguo ; Oracion para Todos. J. BARTLEMA: Trois Prieres. A. OURKOUZOUNOV: Berceuse: Caprice on an Orthodox Chant. F. WALLACE: Cunctipotens Genitor
Jan Bartlema was born in Zwolle in 1959 into a musical family and after studying guitar at Zwolle and Enschede with Pieter van der Staak and Jorge Oraison respectively he furthered his studies under Milan Zelenka. He now lives in the Danish town of Drachten.
From every perspective this new release is a superb addition to the constantly growing number of guitar CDs released every month. The playing is exemplary; Bartlema’s enviable and seemingly effortless technical facility around the fingerboard allowing him the luxury of phrasing and interpreting the music exactly how he perceives it and the end result is a masterclass in musical presentation.
With eight of the fourteen tracks receiving their premiere recordings (two of which, the Stopler and one of the Ourkouzounov ones, being dedicated to the performer) the majority of the music itself will probably be unfamiliar to most. The quality of this programme adds a further notch on the ‘excellent’ stakes of this disc for there is no single piece in this list, which lets the side down, all being of such high quality writing. There is the virtuosic, moto perpetuo excitement of Reinhold Westerheide’s Mistral; Pieter van der Staak’s Theme, Variations et Finale with its enchanting short theme and the following Manuel Ponce-inspired variations; the performer’s own Trois Prieres, a set of relaxing and meditative prayers, and the final track, a lengthy fantasia based around a Gregorian chant by the American composer Frank Wallace. These are the highlights in a programme of outstanding musical quality.
Add to this extensive and informative sleeve notes and a brilliant recorded sound quality and this makes Oracion a ‘must-have’ disc for all serious collectors of good classical guitar music.