Reviews – Sonata ( – February 2017)

cd-homeFirst CD for the young talented Italian classical guitarist Nicola Montella. Born in 1987, Nicola Montella has been studying classical guitar since he was eight, under Master G. M. Fontanella’s guidance. During the academic year 2008/2009, he achieved a first-class Second Level Experimental Academic Degree at the “Gesualdo da Venosa” Conservatory in Potenza – Italy, studying Musical Disciplines – Specialized Biennium for the Teachers’ Education (Guitar); at the “Domenico Cimarosa” Conservatory in Avellino – Italy – under Master Lucio Matarazzo’s guidance, he attained in 2011 a first-class Specialist Degree in Musical Explanatory and Compositional Disciplines for the Guitar, Nineteenth Century Concert Area.
This “Sonata” is an excellent presentation of his brilliant musical skills. The CD seems structured as a circular music unit: it starts with Paganini (MS27 Sonata (Opus 3 No. 1)) and closes on Paganini himself (Sonata MS 87), with the rest of the repertoire that ranges between Variaciones sobre a theme de Fernando Sor miniatures, tre Études de genre op. 38 by Napoleon Coste, followed by his Le Départ – Fantaisie Dramatique op.31, two Sonatas (K32 and K.162) by Domenico Scarlatti and the Sonata for Guitar, Op 47 by Alberto Ginastera.
The booklet inside the cd warns about the use of the term Sonata, because Montella uses it in a more speculative way not strictly conforming strictly to its music features, but I don’t think that’s the key issue. What matters to me instead is not to report the specific characteristics of each passage but what holds them together: the musicianship of Nicola Montella. Usually, in this type of CD, with such a varied program the interpreter runs the risk of falling into a sort of “musical uniformity”, that is, to interpret everything according to his own personal logic that if by one side offers a new point of view on well-known musical material, but on the other side it creates a sort of flattening, by keeping everything on the same stylistic characteristics on each track. The first sign of this attitude is the sound that the interpreter uses: it’s always the same. Montella here instead succeeds in a transaction which denotes, in addition to his technical qualities, even his remarkable artistic maturity: he interprets each passage with a different sound, always nice, always complete, always adapting himself to the different styles in the CD and giving it a. ..moviment, a really interestingl sound. Good job. More applauses for Ginastera.