Matthew McAllister


There will soon come the time where I will once again be asked by some curious music lover what classical guitar CD I recommend they buy in order to introduce themselves to the instrument. When that time arrives, Matthew McAllister will be the name that will spring to mind. In his recent release, entitled “Merula,” McAllister has produced a disc that features a careful selection of works that serve the dual purpose of complementing each other and representing a variety of composers, time periods, and styles of composition. With the exception of a world premiere recording of Douglas Whates’ “Old Photo” and two Ralph Towner pieces, the CD is a veritable “Best of the Classical Guitar”, featuring some of the most enduring compositions for the instrument. His interpretations of works such as “Choros No.1” by Villa-Lobos, “Julia Florida” by Barrios, and the notorious and anonymously written “Romanza” are carefully and naturally executed. McAllister is more daring in his performance of the popular “Asturias” by Albniz, in which he occasionally sacrifices accuracy in order to push the drama to the limit of his abilities. For anyone interested in experiencing the music of the classical guitar, I recommend this disc as it offers an appealing cross-section of the repertoire as well as Matthew McAllister’s pleasant interpretations.

Timothy Smith ~ Minor 7th