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Gene Bertoncini: Concerti

- CD Reviews

Gene Bertoncini: Concerti
(Gene Bertoncini Website)

Gene Bertoncini on Acoustic Guitar
Michael Patterson, Conductor
Mark Feldman, First Violin
Rob Moose, Second Violin
Kelly Dylia, Viola
Dana Leong, Cello
David Finck, Bass

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 16, 2009

This CD is one of the most gorgeous and gripping recordings I’ve heard in some time. Gene Bertoncini has created an ensemble of classically trained musicians to add depth and drama to romantic ballads, to a Spanish guitar favorite, and to one of his own compositions. It was almost impossible to choose four tracks as “notable”, as the entire 8-track recording is sumptuously performed and mesmerizing to the listener. Gene Bertoncini’s Concerti has enchanting elements for everyone, and he even combines Chopin and Jobim, while, on another track, Cole Porter sound like Bach. This is a MUST for your home listening repertoire. Kudos to Gene Bertoncini for such a refined concept.

Notable tracks:

#2 – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To – Composed by Porter, Arr. Fred Sturm. Bertoncini opens this track on solo Bach-like guitar, repeating the theme, intermittently, in unaccompanied fashion. When the ensemble joins him, the effect is orchestral, more classical than contemporary. Michael Patterson’s conducting expertise is obviously extensive, as this melancholy ballad merges mellifluously with celestial strings.

#5 – Every Time We Say Goodbye – Composed by Porter, Arr. Dave Rivello. The string quintet opens this track, with each instrument showcased in momentary clarity. Bertoncini’s theme is woven through the strings with scintillating harmony.

#6 – Prelude/How Insensitive – Composed by Chopin/Jobim, Arr. Brian Gabor. This was my favorite track in this exceptional selection, opening with Chopin on solo guitar, melting into Jobim’s sultry rhythms, and ending in full fusion. Bertoncini has true mastery of both genres, with simplicity of sound and elegance of presentation. There was a generous cello solo; yet all strings combined for sensational effect.

#8 – Concierto de Aranjuez/Spain – Composed by Rodrigo/Corea, Arr. Michael Patterson. I have never heard Rodrigo performed with such deliberate detail and depth. The bass accompaniment added strength and support to this lengthy, closing track, while Bertoncini exemplified the best of Spanish guitar found among today’s artists. The Corea compliment to Rodrigo added fiery fervor and provided opportunities for a cello solo and string passages that shone radiantly.

See Broadway shows this year such as the award winning Wicked Tickets, or other hot shows like Mamma Mia tickets which has come in strong. Or perhaps a concert is your fancy, better get your Hannah Montana Tickets now before they sell out.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at