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Rupert Boyd

Valses Poeticos

Rupert Boyd pictureHaving received such great feedback for his 2008 debut CD, “Valses Poeticos” by Classical Guitar magazine and its American counterpart, Soundboard, we were delighted to be approached by Australian-born guitarist, Rupert Boyd, to review his debut recording. You can read a summarised version of the comments already made by Classical Guitar and Soundboard in the neighbouring column.

Now residing in New York, Rupert has performed throughout the United States, Spain, Italy, France and Australia. Among the numerous prizes won to date, is the Andrés Segovia Award from the Manhattan School of Music.

Rupert Boyd holds a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) degree from the Australian National University School of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and an Artist Diploma degree from the Yale University School of Music.

His major teachers have been Timothy Kain, David Leisner and Ben Verdery. He has also performed in public masterclasses for Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, David Russell, Maximo Diego Pujol, Sharon Isbin, Remi Boucher and Pavel Steidl.Valses Poeticos CD picture

On the back of such rave reviews to date, expectations amongst the Classical Guitar News team were high and we weren’t to be disappointed.  This is a quality release from start to finish, more akin to a highly seasoned performer and established recording artist rather than a debut album.

From the opening broodiness and impetuousity demanded of Piazzolla’s Inverno Porteno to the closing Sevillas from Isaac Albeniz Boyd’s playing exudes confidence and an outstanding technical mastery of his instrument. Touching nearly an hour in length, the listener is taken along a journey of dramatic twists and turns, a tribute to the player's skill as a first-rate scheduler and performer.

His unquestionable technical facility and musicality is none more so evident than in his interpretation of Bach’s Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV 998 where he displays an amazing clarity and richness of tone throughout the 14 minutes of this key work. Hot on the heels of JS Bach the listener is transported some 3 centuries to a set of relatively rarely performed works by Peter Sculthorpe.

Boyd's playing of a set of pieces entitled "From Kakadu" truly captures the spirit and soundscapes inspired by Australia’s natural habitat landscape and exactly how the composer and his fellow countryman Peter Sculthorpe would have intended. Composed 1993 this set of 4 pieces, are given a refreshing and vibrant interpretation of these works, originaly performed by John Williams recordings back in the mid 90s.

After Sculthorpe, it's the turn of Enrique Granados and his much-loved, "Valses Poeticos", from which this recording takes its name. As for the quality and maturity of playing, we can only echo the praise already cited by previous reviews (see Classical Guitar's comments on righthand column on this page). Rupert Boyd, uses the guitar’s natural sonority to fantastic effect to give a performance which will make you believe that this music was originally composed for the guitar and not a transcription of a set of piano works.

The haunting melodies of Brouwer’s Hika (In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu) written in rembrance of the renowned 20th Century Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu, start to draw this recording to a close, rounded off by a rousing rendition of "Sevillas" from by Isaac Albeniz.

Little wonder then that this CD is frequently broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Classic FM, as well radio stations throughout the United States.

With a strong interest in chamber music, Rupert Boyd formed the Australian Guitar Duo with guitarist Jacob Cordover. The duo was a prize winner of the Chamber Music section of the Australian Guitar Competition and had a recital broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Classic FM ‘Young Australia Series’.

Where do you want to go to next?

“Valses Poeticos ” is distributed internationally through CD Baby and is available through Amazon.com and Apple’s iTunes, among other major online media outlets.

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Valses Poeticos Reviews

Classical Guitar

The performances that Boyd gives here are first-rate . . . Altogether this is a fine CD from a player who deserves to be heard.

Soundboard (the Guitar Foundation of America’s quarterly publication)

Boyd’s playing is beautifully refined, with gorgeous tone . . . musically and technically flawless . . . the album is first-rate.” Soundboard also described the eponymous composition by Granados as “one of the best recorded performances of this work on guitar.

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