The best thing about this CD of keyboard works from Spain and Central and South America is the warm, close sound, not what is normally heard from a harpsichord recording. It is as warm as the instrument's red and gold paintwork. The worst thing about the recording is the impression that there is little variation in tempo from work to work. The mix of pieces covers a wide period of time, stretching from the late Renaissance to the early Classical period. And the works are actually a mixture of tempo markings. What gives the impression of little difference, however, is Mario Videla's relatively strict, sometimes plodding, playing. There isn't enough of a difference between his Allegros and his Largos, and he seems to use ritards only at the very end of pieces, rarely using any kind of rubato to create interest within phrases.
In his lifetime, Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was most celebrated as a pianist and was often considered Liszt's only real rival. However, he was also an extremely productive composer, his output including eight concertos, two of which are for 'cello.
“… these Caprichos are an exhaustive workout for guitar. Frank Bungarten was awarded the first prize in the International Guitar Competition in Granada, Spain, by Segovia himself. His playing is very clean and clear … One must remark, too, upon the quality of the recording.“ (Fanfare)
Bob van Asperen (born 8 October 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch harpsichordist and early keyboard instrument performer, as well as a conductor. He graduated in 1971 from the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied the harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt and the pipe organ with Albert de Klerk. Since then he has been performing extensively in Europe and the rest of the world, both as a soloist and as an accompanist/conductor.
In addition to his live performances, he has recorded repeatedly for several labels, including Sony, EMI, Teldec, Virgin, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, specialising in the keyboard repertoire of the 16th - 18th centuries, such as the harpsichord works of Froberger, J. S. Bach and Handel. One of the most important discography projects he has undertaken is the complete keyboard works of C.P.E. Bach and also the complete sonatas of Catalan composer Antonio Soler (Astrée, 1992). Various other projects are under way, while many of his recordings have been awarded with prestigious prizes, such as the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Diapason d'Or.
Firma Melodiya presents recordings of Brahms and Prokofiev concertos performed by Natalia Gutman and Oleg Kagan. One of the worlds best cellists, a Peoples Artist of the USSR, and an owner of the State Prize of Russia, Natalia Gutman received four competition prizes when she was a student.