In 'A piacere' Fahmi Alqhai demonstrates once again what an expressive musician he has become, and with the viola da gamba as his Wondrous Muse , he recreates for CD a concert programme which he has been touring and refining over recent years. Following his ensemble album 'Rediscovering Spain' (performed with Accademia del Piacere) this new release from Glossa has a distinctively soloistic feel and approach to it, with Alqhai relishing the different moods and musical directions that his chosen musical voice permits him to take. Considering the instrument as so much more than a relic from the decaying aristocratic age of Louis XV in France, Alqhai demonstrates by his choice of programme and his playing the viol s versatility, flexibility and depth of emotional response: music from Spanish, German and French Baroque masters of the instrument are joined by Alqhai s own version of Joe Satriani's 'Always with me, always with you' rock number. Notably in his Satriani adaptation (but also in an old Spanish popular melody featuring the cantaor Arcángel, as well as elsewhere) Alqhai receives support from musician friends gathered at sessions in Seville, all helping to create in marvellous sound a new demonstration of the creative freedom that old music can allow in the right hands.
'[an] extraordinary disc … Les Pleurs, the baseline of gamba repertoire, is as accomplished a performance as you could expect, confirming Alqhai as a master of the instrument.' --Caroline Gill, Gramophone May 2014