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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2010
This recording still remains a personal favourite of mine and despite more recent versions being technically superior, and even re-issues such as the John Williams version with Daniel Barenboim and the ECO (An analogue recording from the 1970's) appearing on SACD, remains so.

I can only echo the comments made by the other reviewer above and also urge you to buy this version, even if you already own the John Williams and/or the Julian Bream interpretation, as this performance gives greater insight into the Concierto De Aranjuez particularly than either of the other two performers I've mentioned here.

Listen with a good pair of headphones, or on a well set-up Hi-Fi and you will be rewarded with a truly enjoyable performance on many levels, that I find truly satisfying.

If ever there was a case of a recording that would be benefit from a new DSD master this is it.

When this CD was first issued, it was a definite 5 stars for vituosity, and although it's still the best performance of Rodrigo's Concierto De Aranjuez by a considerable distance, sound wise it isn't on a par with say a BIS or Dorian Recording, even of the same period.

For that reason only I've marked it down a star. But don't let that put you off!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2012
I'm no expert on classical music, but I do own a number of versions of Concerto de Aranjuez since it's one of my favourite pieces of music.

Most versions of this piece seem to be just lesser versions of the outstanding version by John Williams. Like they're all using the guitar as a mere tool to make the music sound as lovely and intruiging as possible. And it's nothing wrong with that.

But Paco's version adds something extra due to his very virtuoso styled playing. Some parts of the piece are played faster than usual (of course) and he also has a great feel for creating dramatic musical tension with his tone structure that in some ways surpasses John Williams, no matter how brilliant the latter is. Paco's virtuosity is never at the expense of bringing the music to life however, so don't let the word "virtuosity" put you off.

Most guitarists perform this music as a classical piece. Paco's performance makes it at least as much flamenco guitar music as it is classical music. Maybe this was what Rodrigo originally intended.

To sum things up: Even if you own a couple of versions of Concierto de Aranjuez it might very well be worthwhile to invest in this recording as well. Especially if you're a guitarist yourself.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I have several versions of Rodrigues' Concerto and this is easily the best. Paco da Lucia gives it his all, and the orchestra rises to the challenge. The recording is amazing, with the guitar clearly audible even when the orchestra is going full-on. Which enables the listener to really appreciate the virtuoso guitar parts Rodrigues wrote even for passages where the guitar isn't taking centre-stage, and the way they're performed on this recording by Paco de Lucia, a flamenco guitarist rather then a classical player. But he brings exactly the right sensibility to this piece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There is an apocryphal story that when shown the music for this, De Lucia couldn't read it as his background in flamenco meant that he rarely needed to see a written score. Whether there is any truth to this or not, you have on this version the finest flamenco guitarist of all time performing one of the finest guitar concertos. Both the Williams and Bream interpretations are well worth owning, but when choosing between the three (and ignoring for the moment the sound recording quality) this remains the one to which I most often return.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The recording, as others have noted, is not the best - without checking the liner notes, there is a hint of brittleness that perhaps betrays it's origins as an early digital recording.

Nevertheless, this is a stellar performance. Paco de Lucia simply gets closer to the music than every other guitarist I have heard - the drama, energy, and passion of his playing (not to mention his phenomenal technique) make every other recording of this masterpiece sound dull, almost lifeless by comparison.

Even the recordings of John Williams and Julian Bream - long held in such high regard - sound too restrained, too polite, too *English* in such elevated company.

This is how Concierto de Aranjuez needs to sound.

This is the version you should own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2011
This orchestral work delivers a beautiful dialogue between orchestra and solo guitar and Paco de Lucia is a supreme multi-faceted musician who treats both the Concierto de Aranjuez and the interplay with the orchestra very dynamically.
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on 9 February 2015
Have listened to several versions of this piece, and this is by far the best, for me, it raises goose-bumps and seems to cause a reaction that is not in the other versions. In this piece, Paco's playing relaxes without causing any depressing of the senses, more like a stimulation of the feelings. Bizarre I know but how else could I describe what music does for me.
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on 6 December 2013
It is the most wonderful piece of music - I immediately gave it to my son who equally loved it. It's my first choice when I am driving an want something lovely and varied to listen to
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2011
I bought this version of the famous concerto after reading reviews on this site. Paco de Lucia plays it unconventionally, thoughtfully and, at times, very convincingly. The orchestra give strong support and I consider this to be one of the better recordings of the Concierto de Aranjuez currently available.
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on 16 October 2014
Very fine cd from King of the guitarist's and guitarist of the Kings...
R.I.P.
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