Our Bargain of the Month for September comes from the Naxos label and provides great background listening. It features a potential future star of the classical guitar world, Xianji Liu. In 2016, Xianji Liu became the first Chinese-born winner of the celebrated Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition.
Since then his career has developed steadily with appearances around Europe and the United States in addition to the many recitals he has given in China.
On this CD he performs a range of transcriptions and works written specifically for the guitar. Most of them are fairly trivial works, but they make for great easy listening! Liu is able to exhibit various styles in the chosen pieces; at times jazzy, sultry and full of Spanish style as appropriate to the piece being performed. The Scarlatti Harpsichord Sonata (K146), transcribed here for guitar is especially pleasing.
The CD also includes Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina, Op. 52, No. 1 (1957) which was dedicated to the great Julian Bream. This is a work that beneath its elegance requires the performer to face some very strenuous technical demands – Xianji Liu takes these in his stride!