Sketches of Mexico

by Morgan Szymanski

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Trompetas 01:43
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Yucatan 02:19
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Guanajuato 02:27
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El Tepeyac 01:48
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Jaranas 01:30
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La Rumorosa 02:19
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about

‘Sketches of Mexico’ review. William Yeoman, Gramophone Magazine – August 2012
‘What is beyond criticism is Szymanski’s playing, which is of the highest order…‘Sketches of Mexico’ is a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music.’
‘Szymanski conjures homeland tribute both sonic and visual’
UK-based Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski has already shown himself to be a gifted musical collaborator – witness his work with Machaca, the ensemble he formed in 2006. But teaming up with a group of visual artists is something else altogether. Thankfully, the results are just as satisfying.
The musical content of Szymanski’s stylishly packaged new solo recording, ‘Sketches of Mexico’, comprises the world premiere recording of Mexican guitarist/composer Julio César Oliva’s Veinte Estampas de México (‘Twenty Mexican Sketches’) and six Canciones Mexicanas by Manuel Ponce. To complement each of Oliva’s ‘sketches’ of various Mexican locales, including the Yucatán peninsula, El Tepeyac, the lagoons of Montebello, Tijuana and of course Mexico City, artists from the UK, Mexico, Portugal and China have provided visual interpretations in various media. The artworks are reproduced one to a page; all are accompanied by a short description of the geographical location which inspired the original music. As such, the booklet-note feels more like an exhibition catalogue – but in a good way. Like Oliva’s evocative, dance -and song- inflicted music, the artworks are highly attractive, if variable in quality: among the better are Atardecer (‘Dusk’) by Siegrid Weise, Jane Williams’s Jaranas and Savador López’s Puerto Vallarta.
What is beyond criticism is Szymanski’s playing, which is of the highest order. One has only to listen to the sweet-toned cantabile of ‘La Zona del Silencio’, the pellucid fluency of ‘Río Grijalva’ or the complex colouristic palette Szymanski brings to Ponce’s masterful miniatures. All in all, ‘Sketches of Mexico’ is a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music.

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released July 27, 2014

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Morgan Szymanski London, Ohio

Described as ‘a player destined for future glories’ (Classical Guitar Magazine) Morgan Szymanski has been highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ by both Gramophone Magazine and the BBC Music Magazine.

Performances as a soloist and with orchestras have taken him to concert halls and festivals all over the world.
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