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4.3 out of 5 stars
11
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 February 2014
"To the New World" not just because of the music but because at the heart of this CD are two suites, specially written (in one case, arranged) for Sharon Isbin -- one by the British composer John Duarte, based on folksongs that Joan Baez sang, and the other by the American violinist (of Irish extraction) Mark O'Connor, who arranged his "Strings and Threads" Suite (originally for solo violin) for guitar and violin at Isbin's behest. The instruments take turn about as the lead in this suite, and it's just terrific: a series of short, mainly dance movements, ending with three that run together to form a sizzling finale, "Texas Dance Hall Blues," Swing," and "Sweet Suzanne." Great playing from both musicians here -- and just as long as it should be. At the center of the Duarte suite is setting of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," appropriate to hear at the end of a week that saw the death of Pete Seeger, who wrote the song as a lament for young soldiers who died in Viet-Nam. The setting movingly incorporates "Taps," and Isbin plays it with the right restraint and dignity. The whole suite is beautifully and imaginatively set. Isbin also plays some Renaissance lute music in her own transcription and accompanies Joan Baez herself on two numbers, "Wayfaring Stranger" and "Go 'Way from my Window." It's touching to hear Joan now, a bit breathy and lower of voice, but with nice tone and still showing how to turn a phrase. Sharon Isbin plays wonderfully throughout, drawing a great variety of expressive effects from her instrument. Guitar addicts needn't hesitate; others should give this a try.
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on 7 January 2010
I was intrigued by this recording when I heard Sharon Isbin being interviewed on Radio 2. The transition from classical Renaissance Lute music to contemporary guitar music may not have been enough to entice me, but combined with Joan Baez's vocals on 'Wayfaring Stranger' I was hooked. Then I read a less than favourable review and hesitated, but I am delighted I went with my original instinct. Sharon's playing is rightly described by Joan Baez as 'exquisite', and the 'Joan Baez Suite' written by John Duarte is played with precision and passion which brings new - and delightful - perspectives on such classics as 'The House of the Rising Sun' and 'Where have all the Flowers Gone'. Not previously a fan of the classical guitar, nor having previously encountered Sharon Isbin, I am so glad I made this purchase. Brilliant.
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on 7 June 2011
Listening to Classic FM in the small hours I heard the track ' Andecy ' composed by Andrew York but played by Sharon Isbin.I am ashamed to say not a name familiar to me.As an occasional listener to classical guitar music and having bought this cd I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of the nature of the tracks she has chosen here.I for one found this album a delight and the addition of Mark O'Connor with his ' Strings and Threads Suite ' and the lovely sounding voice of Joan Baez really compliments the superb guitar playing of Sharon Isbin.Some might describe an album such as this as music to wind down to but that would surely underestimate the quality on display.An extremely enjoyable listen.
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on 19 January 2012
Great CD for any fan of classical and folk guitar. Inspired selection of melodies that join classical, folk and even a reel, all played with energy and interpretation. I originally bought this from hearing Mark O'Connor's Pilgrim's Waltz which is almost identical to Fairport Convention's Portmerion. Now there's a thought, Sharon at Copredy?
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on 6 January 2013
this is a lovely CD for relaxing - highly recommend this and craig ogden's 'The Guitarist' if you like this.
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on 10 December 2009
Out of the various "crossover" CD's that Sharon Isbin has produced, this is my favourite. It is a compilation of pieces spanning genres from European Renaissance to modern US, touching classical, pop, and blues. The pieces are played with a sense of tranquility, sensitivity and delicacy that leave me feeling rather peaceful.
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on 3 July 2009
Very well produced classic guitar CD. I would not listen to the CD in one sitting and have selected my favorite tracks for the MP3. The recorded bell ring of the guitar is wonderful, stunning technique and guitar.
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on 8 June 2015
AS described. Good service
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on 28 July 2015
Excellent album
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2009
Technically, absolutely perfect, a little too clinical for my taste though.
A bit like walking into a minimalist's house, its all white painted and there is nothing unnecessary, everything in it's place and there is a place for everything. I am sure the purists amongst you will adore it but it 'feels' like a very `protected' performance - a bit anal!
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