ALBUM REVIEW – Classical Guitar In America

In this new category for GMI we have our first album review which is from Randy Hathaway from Seattle titled "Classical Guitar In America".


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Randy Hathaway – Classical Guitar In America

Randy Hathaway Classical Guitar In America

Classical Guitar In America is a new album release by guitarist and composer Randy Hathaway who is based in Seattle, Washington State USA. Interestingly I have a connection with Seattle and both visited and studied there one summer thirteen years ago, so it’s great to see yet more musical talent being being brought to the fore from this very artistic and productive part of America.

Press release for the album Classical Guitar In America

Randy Hathaway’s debut 2 CD set, Classical Guitar In America, has been released. Fifteen compositions are performed by eighteen musicians in various solo and ensemble configurations. Included within are thirteen guitarists, three vocalists a flutist and violist.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Randy’s compositions illustrate tonalities of North America, European and Latin origins. Depictions of 19th century American migrations, images of a cafe in Paris and themes in the Spanish spirit are exhibited. From substantial works of over 16 minutes to petite art songs, Randy’s style is recognizable throughout.

Over 3 years in production, this uniquely immense project celebrates the classical guitar in a variety of different settings. Along with this recording, all compositions have been rendered into sheet music with ten artists contributing images for the covers

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Production Value
Album Concept
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album-review-classical-guitar-in-americaClassical Guitar In America is a huge work! It's ninety six minutes all in! The musicianship displayed throughout this massive work is excellent from all those involved and the recording itself is as we have come to expect these days is also of the highest calibre. Overall this was a very enjoyable work. There are some real standout tracks such as Le Beau Tango and Spring Overture within the fourteen tracks which make up the complete work. There are some quite obtuse compositions such as Winter's Arrival which mixes dissonance from a classical perspective with occasional harmonic references to jazz. At times, such as the final work Farewell, I felt reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and the first track American Sonata had a certain Debussy influence. The playing is crisp and technically sound with a huge gamut of techniques from a guitaristic point of view on show. Criticisms - well I do think this is more of a showcase than an actual album of work. There is so much music which covers such as wide range of styles, techniques and instrumentation that it's hard to know what the core musical message is. Certain songs didn't do it for me and were a bit musically flabby such as Gypsy de Malaga, others may well love this, but there you go. Less is more would have focused this collection and the concept. Finally, I may have missed it, but there are eighteen musicians on this and I could not find any reference to any of them by name. I am sure they would have liked a credit for their work. Other credits should be available for example, where recorded, recording engineer etc. Different tracks are priced differently which was also a bit odd in my view and the saving for buying the entire collection was just $1...The press release was in image form which did not make this reviewer that happy as I had to copy the original from an image to add here. That being said, it was still an impressive offering and if you love classical guitar there is definitely something in here for you...because there is just so much of it. I enjoyed large parts of this collection of music, I'm sure you will too. Links to the album for purchase found above.