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Moments Musicaux - Çeku

Moments Musicaux - Çeku

Eudora Records  EUD-SACD-2401

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Franz Schubert: 6 Schubert’sche Lieder (arr. Joseph Kaspar Mertz)
Ivan Padovec: Variations sur la valse favorite de F. Schubert, Op. 4
Manuel María Ponce: Sonate Romantique "Hommage à Schubert"

Petrit Çeku (guitar)


One of the greatest guitarists of his generation, Petrit Çeku guides us on this wonderful journey through Schubert’s inner world. There are many myths surrounding the great composer’s relationship with the guitar, most of them of spurious origin. Whatever the full truth about Schubert and the guitar, it is easy to understand why some guitarists and composers – such as those featured on this album – were devoted to his music. Çeku brings together Mertz’s outstanding Schubert’s transcriptions with Padovec’s Variations op. 4 and Ponce’s Sonate “Hommage à Schubert”, with utmost sensitivity, transcendence and finesse, a recording for the ages!

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - March 28, 2024

If the guitar player is Petrit Çeku, the music is based on Schubert and the recording engineered by Gonzalo Noqué, then I’ve said it all. Another safe buy. End of story. However, I’m afraid that my one-liner review won’t be acceptable and that I have to devote some more of my time to dress it up.

So, here we go. Not all great guitarists come from Spain. Petrit Çeku is a Kosovar of Albanian nationality. Beginning his musical education in Zagreb, Croatia, to finish it in Baltimore, USA.

His previous Eudora release Bach: Cello Suites 1-6 - Çeku received multiple accolades. Is he that good? Yes. If you can play Bach’s Cello Suites so convincingly, then Gonzalo is right in his prologue to this new album saying that: “He is one of the very few musicians I’ve encountered who’s able to transcend what is written in the score … the true inspiration that strikes composers .. ”. This time he draws us in the world of Schubert as arranged by Joseph Kaspar Merz, or composed ‘in the style of', or 'with reference to’ by Ivan Padovec, and Manuel Maria Ponce.

In my ‘one-liner’ I forgot to mention that his Ross Gutmeier guitar is in it as well. Fine, full-bloom sonority, no doubt thanks to the best D’Addario strings. I won’t go as far as to say that the guitar 'sings' the 6 Lieder with which the programme opens. Still, the guitar transcriptions by Merz, drawn from the piano scores interwoven with the song lines, become in Çeku hands a marvel of true musicianship, conveying Schubert’s brain-children & spiritual phantasies in a way that the listener cannot break away from. Spellbound, for short. These Songs are for most of us a rewarding trip down memory lane.

Even more so, the ‘7 Variations sur la valse favorite de F.Schubert’ (Schubert - Trauerwalzer, D. 365, No. 2) written by the Croatian guitarist, Ivan Padovec. A simple melody increasingly impressively played by Petrit Çeku without losing one note along the road.

But maybe less so, the ‘Sonate Romantique’, paying homage to Schubert, by the famous Mexican composer, Manuel Ponce, a kind of ‘ghost writer’ for Andrés Segovia. Schubertian melodious beauty is clearly in evidence. And that is exactly the way it is played by Petrit Çeku, drawing ‘inspiration that strikes composers’ like Schuber, keeping us Spellbound till the very end.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France.

Copyright © 2024 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

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