Acclaimed guitarist Rachel Gauk performs music by award-winning composer Omar Daniel. Two works for solo guitar, plus the title work featuring soprano Monica Whicher, and an exciting work for guitar and string quartet, with the Penderecki String Quartet, make up this CD.
"...Gauk’s powerful presence as a performer shines through in every solo and ensemble track, flowing with the mood of Daniel’s music and interpreting his diverse textures with fluent, focused, and beautifully nuanced style. It’s no surprise to hear guitar aficionados beginning to call her Canada’s new "first lady" of the instrument - a title she’s destined to hold well into the next century...
The title track, My Angel, is a delectable and poignant work for soprano and guitar; where Gauk and Whicher blend with a grace and intuition that bears multiple playings. My Angel is a new Canadian recording of admirable diversity and genuine appeal. Highly recommended."
Pauline Finch Durichen
"Canadian composer Omar Daniel’s accessible harmonic language and clear formal structure emerge more as tools for the composer’s absorbing emotional honesty than as ends in themselves. Daniel’s command of narrative, fertile lyricism and highly idiomatic writing for guitar offer some satisfying journeys here.
The four works were written for Rachel Gauk, a most accomplished guitarist for whom Daniel has been composing for some 10 years. Tientos (1994) has a baroque tang, with fragrant Spanish colours from early Vihuela music. Piangiamo quel crudel basciare (1992) explores an- anonymous 13th century Italian song. My Angel, for guitar and soprano, is an ethereal play on dreams.
Only the Eagle Flies the Storm (1990), for guitar and string quartet, leaves one with real dramatic relevance besides its obvious fund of interesting ideas.
Daniel speaks from the heart and these authoritative performances do him full justice." ****