Fernando Sor - Spanish Guitar Music
released 1998 ASV
One of Britain's foremost guitarists, Raymond Burley presents a well-chosen collection of Fernando Sor's best compositions. The marvellous reviews garnered by this eloquent CD and performer reveal the reasons that this one is a must-have recording. The first piece, Ye Banks and Braes, is Sor's delightful setting of a Scottish folk song. The composer is renowned for his Variations, Op. 9, on a theme from The Magic Flute and here arranges six airs from the same opera. Fantasie Elégiaque, Op. 59, is one of Sor's most heartfelt statements. Introduction and Variations on Marlbroug is based on a French marching song, known as For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Andante largo Op. 5, no. 5 is from Six Petites Pièces requires a sure mastery of the guitar's subtleties. Fantasie, Op 7 is one of Sor's finest works and considered one of his outstanding masterpieces.
Ye Banks and Braes is a lovely piece which somehow leads the performer to simultaneously capture the classical essence of the composition and the inherent lilting simplicity of the Scottish melody. Burley achieves this well, investing it with a gracefulness which neatly combines both elements into an artistic whole. The opening of Op. 59 captures the attention immediately, an introductory andante largo of considerable impact. The essence of Raymond Burley's playing is refinement of technique, allied to good tone, qualities which are to the fore here. (In the Marche funebre), Burley has an undemonstrative and extremely neat control, it's his style, he's true to it and it works well here, in particular the extraordinarily delicate ending which most certainly can be no other way.
Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar Magazine
If one had to select a single Sor recording to augment a collection, this disc would make an excellent candidate. Burley's playing is tasteful and refined, and he is in full command of his material. I can't recall having heard the great Opus 7 Fantasie played better.
Peter Danner, Guitar Foundation of America, Soundboard Magazine