David Russell, recognized for his "evident mastery" of the Spanish guitar repertoire, releases a new album featuring distinctive works by master Isaac Albéniz. With movements from the critically-acclaimed Doce Piezas Caracteristicas and the picturesque Cantos de España to enchanting, Gypsy-inspired dances like the Zambra Granadina, the album celebrates the best of Albéniz' oeuvre, including works originally composed for other instruments.
"The magic in Albeniz' Spanish melodies is unsurpassed. Many of his pieces sound so good on the guitar that it is amazing that they were not written for our instrument," says Russell. "I am sure that he had the sound of the guitar in the back of his mind, while he was writing them."
The Suite Española No. 1 of 1886 is among the earliest of Albéniz's characteristic compositions. He wrote that Granada, composed during a visit to that southern city, is "a Serenata, romantic to the point of paroxysm and sad to the point of despair, among the aroma of flowers, the shade of the cypresses, and the snow of the Sierra.... I want the Arabic Granada, that which is all art, which is all that seems to me beauty and emotion." Albéniz composed the seven musical postcards of his Recuerdos de Viaje ("Souvenirs of a Journey") in Madrid in 1886-1887 in the styles of traditional Spanish dances. Rumores de la Caleta ("Murmurs of La Caleta"), which refers to the popular beach in the historic center of the ancient city of Cádiz, is modeled on the malagueña, a gently swaying dance that originated in Málaga.
Isaac Albeniz: Spanish Music on Guitar joins Russell's catalogue of traditional guitar repertory, including records featuring the music of Paraguayan guitarist-composer Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Spanish composer Federico Moreno Torroba, and the three Rodrigo concerti for solo guitar (Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía para un Gentilhombre and Concierto para una Fiesta), along with his most recent Art of the Guitar.
Winner of the 2005 Grammy® award for best instrumental soloist, guitarist David Russell is recognized worldwide for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry. Lauded by The New York Times for his "talent of extraordinary dimension," Russell has appeared regularly at prestigious halls in main cities, such as New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Toronto or Rome. Since 1995, he has recorded exclusively for Telarc International, with which he has recorded sixteen CDs, among them the Grammy® - winning Aire Latino.
Named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997, Russell has also won the Medal of Honor from the Conservatory of the Balearics, along with numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition , the José Ramírez Competition and Spain's prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition .
In 2009, Russell was named honorary member of "Amigos de la Guitarra", the oldest guitar society in Spain, and both a street in Es Migjorn, Minorca, and an auditorium at the music conservatory of Vigo have been named after him. The town of Nigrán, where he resides, awarded Russell a silver medal in recognition of his 2005 Grammy® win.