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Album Review: New Day
John Jarvie
Cover image of the album New Day by John Jarvie
New Day
John Jarvie
2013 / John Jarvie
58 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
New Day is the second full-length CD from classical guitarist John Jarvie, following his 2007 debut, the simply-titled Classical Guitar. I have had the privilege of hosting Jarvie in concert in my home the past several years, and his performances are always spell-binding. The liner notes for the CD include a short history of each of the fifteen pieces, which parallels some of the highlights of Jarvie’s live performances. An exceptionally well-trained musician who comes from a very musical family, Jarvie has included transcriptions of music written for other instruments as well as his interpretations of a vast repertoire of music for classical guitar. It is interesting to note that Jarvie is also a guitar builder, and that the guitar he played on this album is a hand-made original with an amazingly warm, rich sound.

New Day begins with the title track (“El Nuevo Dia”), a piece composed by Paco Pena, a contemporary master of flamenco guitar. Bright and lively, the piece suggests optimism and anticipation. “Julia Florida” is a beautiful ballad by Agustin Barrios that expresses deep emotion and tenderness. “Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios (An Offering for the Love of God),” also composed by Barrios, comes from a phrase used by beggars on the streets in San Salvador. Hauntingly beautiful with strong feelings of melancholy, this is a favorite. JS Bach’s “Prelude in E Major” was originally written for the Violin Suite BWV 1006, but lends itself beautifully to classical guitar. “Spanish Dance #5” by Enrique Granados is made up of a variety of themes woven into a lovely tapestry of sound. Originally written for piano, it is now heard more often on guitar. “Tango Espanol Op. 164 #2” by Isaac Albeniz was also originally written for piano and is an exploration of what was a new dance form at the time. Slow and sensual, it smolders with passion. “La Paloma (The Dove)” is one of the more familiar pieces in this collection. Composed by Sabastian Yradier, it was inspired by the gently swaying rhythms of the Cuban dance, habanera. Jarvie’s arrangement of Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” is stunning. I’ve been lucky enough to see Jarvie perform this piece live, and the heartfelt beauty of the piece as well as the incredible skill it takes to play both the melody and the accompaniment so clearly and effortlessly give it a very big “Wow!” factor!

If you enjoy classical guitar, New Day is an essential addition to your collection! It is available from johnjarvie.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
April 18, 2013
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
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