Odyssey—Frederic Hand, guitar (Willow 1036)
Frederic Hand has been influencing generations of guitarists throughout his fairly amazing career. He’s a longtime Metropolitan Opera guitarist and lutenist, believe it or not, and he’s an award-winning composer, too. His Prayer—included on this disc—was nominated for a Grammy. Odyssey hearkens to the tradition of the performer/composer, a role in which Hand has been thriving throughout his career. His work draws from a variety of inspirations, including Irish music, jazz, early music, and new age. Especially notable is the track For Julian, composed in 2007 in honor of Julian Bream, who was Hand’s teacher while on a Fulbright Scholarship in England. Originally for eight course lute, the piece is played for this recording on guitar for its greater timbral variety. Sophia’s Journey is an amusing and endearing sketch of Hand’s baby granddaughter, the title track (with guitarist David Leisner) was inspired by a trip to Greece, and in A Psalm of Thanksgiving, Hand is joined by flutist Jayna Nelson.
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