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Reviews

American Record Guide; May/June 2007

Isaacs is a young player and has only played for 11 years. He is based in California, a graduate of Cal State Fullerton under David Grimes. His performances to date have been mostly in West Coast venues. This appears to be his first CD, and it shows much promise.

This is the third or fourth Catedral Iíve reviewed since joining ARG six months ago, and it is the best. Isaacs plays with sensitivity and technical finish and is more emotionally committed to the music and its images than many far more famous players. His Cavatina is less convincing, and the Danza Pomposa sounds a bit labored, but there are many nice touches.

The Bach is his own transcription, with a few touches on the Sarabande and Bourree borrowed from Segovia. The results are a bit incongruous Ė the Allemande and Courante and their doubles are all quite literal, and a bit dull, while the Sarabande and Bourree allow the guitar to enlarge on the harmonic structure with added bass notes and expanded chords. It sounds like the work of different transcribers. Either approach can work, but the combination of the two is odd. When Bach transcribed his own music for lute, he added extra harmonic touches to accommodate the luteís lesser timbral range.

The Ponce pieces represent the composerís neobaroque works, and it was a pure joy to hear the prelude even without the harpsichord part often added.

While there are better performances of this music, these interpretations are worth hearing. It will be interesting to see him develop.

Keaton


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