Hungarian classical guitarist Ferenc Snetberger
makes his ECM debut with a live solo guitar recording, surely the most demanding and revealing format for any guitarist. His music is the product of diverse stylistic influences: starting with jazz, but then a strong classical music influence, followed by exposure to Brazilian, South American, and flamenco guitar music. Snétberger cites his first encounter with Johann Sebastian Bach's music as life-changing, followed by hearing ECM label mates Egberto Gismonti
in duo with Nana Vasconcelos
. The first eight tracks in the album are titled "Budapest" after the city where the performance took place. This implies a completely improvised concert similar to another label mate, pianist Keith Jarrett
. But while the playing is highly improvisational, Snétberger frequently draws on earlier compositions of his (and of course there's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" as an encore).
"Budapest -Part 1" is a fiery opener, with rasgueado strumming (associated with flamenco). Initially improvised, it finally introduces an earlier melody that Snétberger always has at the ready. "Budapest -Part 2" is a calm contrast, showing the influence of Bach's contrapuntal writing. "Part 4" has a Brazilian samba feel, while "Part 5" is a free improvisationbut it sounds no less logical or precise than the prior selections. "Part 6" employs a tune previously performed under the title "Empathy." "Part 7" features the first performance of a new tune, and "Part 8" ends the main concert program with a reflective ballad. The version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was the encore for this performance at Budapest's Franz Liszt Academy of Music, a gentle exploration of the standard associated with the movie The Wizard of Oz
It's a beautiful, assured performance, sure to appeal to fans of Ralph Towner
, another classical guitarist (primarily) long associated with ECM. There are additional ECM recordings in preparation, including a new trio with Anders Jormin
and Joey Baron
. I look forward to hearing them.
Track Listing: Budapest - Part 1; Budapest - Part 2; Budapest - Part 3; Budapest - Part 4;
Budapest - Part 5; Budapest - Part 6; Budapest - Part 7; Budapest - Part 8;
Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Personnel: Ferenc Snétberger: guitar.
Title: In Concert
| Year Released: 2016
| Record Label: ECM Records