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Guitar Divas - Matthiesen

Guitar Divas - Matthiesen

Ars Produktion  ARS 38 355

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Works by Giuliani-Guglielmi, Emmerich, Pratten, de Goñi

Heike Matthiesen (guitar)

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - February 7, 2024

For a classical acoustic guitar recital, our first thought is not Germany, but Spain where, so it seems, everybody has and plays a guitar. A simplistic view of reality. Many great guitar players do come from Iberia, but certainly not all. What to think of John Williams (Australia), Julian Bream (UK) and Jason Vieaux (USA)? Germany has its own guitar heroes, like the talented Heike Matthiesen, one one-time pupil of Pepe Romero, breaking into the male-dominated guitar world, inspiring via social media generous enthusiasm for the wonderful world of the acoustic guitar. Her fast-rising star translated into 4 CDs confirming her status as First Lady of the guitar in her home country.

This new ARS release, recorded in 2022, was meant to be the first in a projected series in hi-resolution, but much to our regret, we shall have to accept that after this one there will be no further recordings since she passed away at the end of 2023, dearly missed by all. All the more reason, therefore, to embrace this final release.

What is so special about this album, is that it is entirely devoted to female guitar composers, thus filling an important gap in the usual male chauvinist repertoire. She did it before in her CD ‘Guitar Ladies’, but now we get it on SACD in the best available resolution. Those unfamiliar with it will nonetheless recognise several themes and melodies on which the compositions were developed. I won’t pretend that all is of the same technical level. But there are remarkably interesting finds like some of Catharina Josepha Pratten’s delightful ‘Sketches’.

Being an ambassadress of female composers is one thing, doing it at an exquisite level of playing is even more important. I’ve greatly enjoyed the loving and honest way in which Heike Matthiesen presented her quest to widen people’s scope of guitar repertoire, and above all her artistic legacy nurturing young talent to follow in her footsteps. Heike’s fight against cancer during the past 5 years has not been for nothing!

A brilliant musician is gone.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France.

Copyright © 2024 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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