PHILIP HII, CHOPIN NOCTURNES.
CD DI MUSICA CLASSICA.
I NOTTURNI DI CHOPIN TRASCRITTI PER CHITARRA.
Chopin - Nocturnes
11 Nocturnes arranged and recorded by Philip Hii
1 No. 20, Op. post: lento con gran espressione
2 No. 2, Op. 9, No. 2: andante
3 No. 13, Op. 48, No. 1: lento
4 No. 5, Op. 15, No. 2: larghetto
5 No. 21, Op. post.
6 No. 6, Op. 15, No. 3: lento
7 No. 9, Op. 32, No. 1: andante sostenuto
8 No. 15, Op. 55, No. 1: andante
9 No. 7, Op. 27, No. 1: larghetto
10 No. 19, Op. post. 72, No. 1: andante
11 No. 11, Op. 37, No. 1: andante sostenuto
REVIEWS and QUOTES
"Classical guitarists have long sought a composer whom they may hail as the Chopin of the guitar. While some liken Francisco Tarrega's beautiful yet understated melodies and reflexive use of guitar idioms to Chopin's piano works, others feel more strongly that the Etudes of Heitor Villa-Lobos are to the guitar what the Chopin Etudes are to the piano. Nonetheless, the dynamic range and dazzling flourishes that mark Chopin's work have often seemed better suited to the keyboard than to the plucked string. Philip Hii's most recent release artfully defies such claims. It owes its success not only to Hii's brilliant technique, but to his inventive and studied arranging skills. The affect of the Nocturnes selected for this disc are fully maintained in Hii's guitar versions, and he navigates the delicate lines with an ease achieved only through deep thought and reflection. Op.48, No.1 is the first piece to fully explore Hii's range of talents, challenging the guitarist with quick chromatic lines interwoven into a complex polyphony. Equally memorable is Hii's performance of Op.55, No.1, in which he captures the essence of the many beautiful moments in this composition. The penultimate nocturne, Op.72, No.1, once again offers Hii the opportunity to display his acrobatics as he dances through some surprisingly fast scalar passages while carefully maintaining the active polyphonic lines. Aside from offering a wealth of new repertoire to challenge concert guitarists, this recording also sheds new light on compositions that greatly shaped the romantic period and thus I believe it would appeal to all who appreciate Chopin's work." - Timothy Smith, Minor 7th
"This uncommonly beautiful solo guitar music - 11 of Chopin's 21 Nocturnes arranged and exquisitely performed by Hii - is a gift to the spirit. Without knowing otherwise, one might think Chopin wrote for guitar rather than piano." - Chris Dodge, Utne
"Hii often puts the music first, over bravura technical display, and the result can be remarkably affecting. He has a great sense for the introverted expressive world of these pieces; and his interpretations are carefully considered, tasteful, and even moving. His scale technique is as fast as anyone's, and he plays many of these runs with a lightness of touch that few could achieve. Hii's notes offer a nice overview of Chopin's nocturnes and a persuasive defense of their transcription on the guitar." - Rings, American Record Guide
"In his all-new transcriptions of eleven 'Nocturnes', Philip Hii emerges as a forceful and engaging performer, whose penchant for surges of dynamic energy ensure no listener drifts in to a slumber, nocturnal or otherwise. ...the performances remain controlled and compelling, Hii's remarkable capacity to sustain a single-string trill against dauntingly intricate accompaniments coming into its own on several occasions." - Paul Fowles, Classical Guitar Magazine
"As Hii says in his liner notes, it's hard to imagine piano music more fit for the intimate nature of the guitar. When you stop and think about it, you ought to think that these pieces would have been standard repertory for the last century. But you would be wrong. However, listening to Hii play them, it's impossible not to be seduced.
Whereas usually getting new repertoire of late seems to mean very modern music, this is a case where you can wallow in the unabashed romanticism. Do you want music for your next rendezvous, for your wedding proposal etc. this is it without a doubt and without a touch of cheesiness. This disc is a class act all the way through, done for the love of the music rather than the marketing potential (kudos to GSP's Dean Kamei for another job well done). From the muted tones of the artwork to the warmth and depth of the recorded guitar tone, this disc is very well put together. ...it's likely that most people will recognize every single one of the pieces, even if you don't think you've heard the Nocturnes before.
So, if we've all heard these a thousand times, why should hearing them on guitar be any different? The answer is Hii's playing, as well as the sonority of the guitar. He has an exceptional feel for the romantic style, and his playing will win over the hardest of hearts. He gets inside the music, at once making you feel that he is speaking from his heart and that this music was written expressly for the guitar. His liberal use of drop D and G tunings adds a lower register that emphasizes the darkness of tone, and his decision to eschew his own editorial decisions in favor of fidelity to the piano score makes for a simple, direct musical experience.
It's so nice to have a new disc of guitar music that is so immensely listenable. Anybody would like this. It's a wonderful disc." - Tom Chandler, Rasputin Manifesto