ChromaDuo - Hidden Waters

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ChromaDuo - Hidden Waters - Tracy Anne Smith (Guitar) - Rob MacDonald (Guitar) - 747313275779 - Released: March 2011 - Naxos 8.572757

It becomes quickly and clearly obvious while listening to this new CD, that the composers who wrote these pieces are all well versed in the idiom, in the lingo, of the guitar. And in this particular case, the combination of two guitars. The writing is so natural and seamless that the instruments themselves, and the musicians playing those instruments, become the notes on the page. The music's hard copy dissolves behind the sound it creates. The works on this recording are all world premičres, and most of them were written for guitarists Rob MacDonald and Tracy Anne Smith, collectively known as ChromaDuo.

1} The Raw and the Cooked - (Stephen Gross)
2} Still the Sea - (Stephen Gross)
3} Adagio and Fugue - (Christopher William Pierce)
4} Three Pieces for Two Guitars - (Christopher William Pierce)
5} Niterķi - (Roland Dyens)
6} Comme des grands - (Roland Dyens)

The recording was made in December 2010, inside a church in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and was produced by Norbert Kraft, himself an excellent guitarist and producer behind many, many fine recordings on various labels including Naxos. It not only captured the guitars in spotless sound, but also seems to have absorbed the essence within the interpretation of the two musicians involved. Their innate emotive understanding of these pieces, especially in the slower movements of each one, transcends the physical limitations of the instruments, and clearly projects the music's atmosphere and intent. Gloomy Light, the opening movement of Comme des grands by Roland Dyens, is but one of many moments where the two guitars mesh to create an evocative mood that pulls you in and carries you off somewhere, out of yourself. Rare are the pieces of music that do this, but with that said, there are a few on this CD that achieve just that.

Jean-Yves Duperron - May 2011