Dávid Pavlovits – Guitar Recital at the Impala House (2000)

It is a rare treat indeed to discover two entirely different sets of musical delight on the same CD, but this is precisely the boon a dear friend of mine has given me by lending me this record by Dávid Pavlovits – a thrilling classical guitar player and a composer capable of writing very stimulating and occasionally breathtaking music, as the twelve Amethysts and Stormbird Sonata works so clearly show.

I can hardly believe this CD is already twelve years old, going on thirteen. This isn’t an impression owed, as one might easily think, to the fact that we’re dealing with a live recording. Much beyond that, the overarching impression is that the music is in itself fabulously immediate and fresh, which is quite a feat of prowess, given that the concert features pieces written by Henry Purcell, Beethoven and Albeniz along side Mr. Pavlovits’ own compositions. Here, the player’s character really shines, bringing the diverse musical pieces together in a performance of remarkable emotional and aesthetic coherence. It’s really quite difficult for me to analyze the specific aspects of interpretation, as I’m not nearly well-versed enough in the rigors of the classical guitar. I feel this is one of the areas in which my tastes are less that refined, so to speak. However, I can appreciate what seems to me to be an almost narrative flow here.

But what really excited me about this record were the original pieces. I am saddened to find that none of the Amethysts are available on YouTube, since I have found some pieces among them which have skyrocketed to the very top of my classical music private vault of favorites. I am especially fond of Amethyst Nr. 2, but to go into to much detail on these pieces would just be unforgivable teasing on my part, since I’m not certain of the availability of this record. In any case, I am very pleased to have found the Stormbird Sonata in its entirety, in another live performance by the composer himself. The intricacy of this music, the intellectual and emotional tension it breeds, the sharpening of attention it seems to instill in the listener, all of these have such an exciting and energetic effect that I was driven to listen over and over, as if trying to memorize the complex facets of a crystal. This is witty, brilliant, sharp music, inspired and battle scarred, as I imagine the goddess Athena to have emerged from her father’s temple, clad in full armor and with a veteran’s look in her eye.

I really hope I’ve managed to peak your interest in this music, and I wish you luck in tracking down this full CD, if you find your appetite for it stirred. It has been a great reason for joy for me to discover such a bounty of new music, and I am glad as ever to pass it on! Enjoy!

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