Fanfare Review – Lyrical and Virtuosic guitar music

Wednesday, 6 October 1999

An absolutely stunning recital from this young Canadian guitarist. The dexterity of her left hand sets the scene in the lively and brilliant openning Allegretto from Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina. From there Kavanagh takes us faultlessly through just about every facet of guitar technique. Her intonation is impeccable, and the precision of her right hand brings a clarity even to the most mercurial passages. She is also a guitarist who manages to keep the noise of fingers moving on strings to a minimum, despite the fact that the close micing places her under a microscope.

A few words on names that may not be familiar. Larry Cooperman is an American guitarist and composer, writing in a melodic style that embraces the French Impressionists, the shimmering colors of his 1990 work, “Walking on the Water”, owing something to Debussy. Now spending most of his life in Europe, Jaime Zenamon was born in Bolivia. Taking its influence from Brasil, the “Introduccion y Forreando Caprichoso” is cast in a very popular dance idiom, drawing on elements of the Bossa Nova and Samba.

Whether in this modern light music, or in the quasi-18th-century elements of Rodrigo’s charming and effervescent “3 Piezas Espanolas”, Kavanagh’s musicianship is unfailing, and I most strongly recommend the disc to you.

David Denton