El Caminante (El Caminante)
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Absolutely amazing, a must buy!!!
Listening to El Caminante blows my mind every time. Odair's playing is too hard to describe, it's so good. I've not heard anyone surpass his wonderful musical expression on the guitar, and I've heard the best (Russell, Barrueco, Williams, Bream, etc.) and only a few might come close on other instruments - possibly Steven Isserlis (cello), Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Murray Perahia (piano).? I'm still not sure. The guitar as Odair plays it is a world in itself, somehow untouchable. His playing a polyphonic instrument with only six strings makes other more capable instruments sound almost dull.
Odair Assad's control of dynamics is unreal - listen to the end of Memoria E Fado - there is no fading, it's simply him playing ever quietly to serve the music. Also listen to Brouwer's Sonata Del Caminante (commissioned for Odair) - a masterpiece both in composition and sheer virtuosity... I doubt anyone would dare approach this Sonata after his unapproachable rendition, and you won't hear it anywhere else. Callahan's Red Fantasy is also a delight that you won't hear elsewhere. This is a new work by an American composer that incorporates Brazilian and European influences, with a touch of Jazz and Rock (if you can believe it) - most excellent... Callahan is clearly a shining light in today's classical guitar realm as both a player and composer - his Fourth Stream and Three River Moments are sought after among today's performers.
This recording is a must buy - you will not be disappointed...!
A Perfect Album
For my taste, this may be the best guitar playing, of any stripe, I have yet heard. I have been a devoted fan of the Assad Brothers since the early 1980's, and I have always marveled at their ability to merge their parts into a whole. While I miss hearing both guitars, it is an especially intimate experience hearing just Odair and the occasional sound of his breathing. I am especially fond of the pieces written by Sergio (Feliz & Valseana in particular); but find the whole recording to be an inspiration to my own artistic endeavors. Thank you Assad Brothers.