Steve Marsh
Steve Marsh CD Reviews, Guitar Magazine

Classical Guitar Magazine – October 2006 – CD Reviews

The Modern Guitar Trio

Vincent Lindsey-Clark: Sonata Melodica. Roland Gallery: Two Fusion Pieces. Roland Chadwick: The Wendy House

HomeFront Records HF0101

The Modern Guitar Trio comprises Roland Gallery, Vincent Lindsey-Clark (both formerly of the Segovia Guitar Trio) and Roland Chadwick; as well as all three of them being virtuoso guitarists, they also just happen to be extremely good composers in the own right. Their belief in their compositional abilities is reflected in their programmes which consist expressly of material written individually by all three players (a fact that they claim is unique in the ensemble field), therefore it is highly unlikely that a purchase of their recordings or an attendance at their recitals will bring forth well-known guitar-trio fare; speaking from personal experience (I saw them in concert at the Dillington Summer School in 2005), this is in no way a daunting prospect, their compositions are of the highest quality and are never less than entertaining.

The four-movement Sonata Melodica by Lindsey-Clark opens up proceedings in, as one would expect from the title, very lyrical fashion. The composer himself describes this composition as a celebration of melody and that it certainly is; tunes abound from every corner of this brilliant and exciting piece whether it be in the bright, vivacious sections or in the darker, moodier passages. It is altogether a highly rewarding work to listen to with a clear and uncomplicated texture concluding with a spirited Finale of uninhibited fun.

Roland Gallery’s contribution to this programme uses the word ‘fusion’ in the title due to the two works combining the elements from rock, jazz, classical and world music. The first one, titled Chameleon is an eight-minute work of varying moods and pace and cleverly uses the same thematic material in different guises – hence the title. The second piece, Fear of the Dark utilises the ‘jazz’ sound a little more than its counterpart and makes for another entertaining work.

Good as the two preceding two pieces are, pride of place must go to Roland Chadwick’s emotive composition The Wendy House, a work written as a form of tribute to the composer’s disabled 47-year-old sister and a piece I have returned to time and again for further listenings. This five-movement composition contains some of the most beautifully evocative writing for guitar ensemble this reviewer has heard in many a day. After reading the story of Chadwick’s sister from the liner notes and then listening to this magical work I defy anyone not to be moved by the sheer poetry of this writing. In between the three slower movements are two contrasting ones consisting of a zany waltz and a highly charged, rhythmic piece, but it is in the slower passages where the composer shows his very real talent for composing extraordinarily attractive music. There is no overstatement, no pomposity or grand empty gestures; it is simply music for music’s sake. The Wendy House is a hugely enjoyable and extremely well written work for guitar trio and deserves to become a standard in the repertoire.

Virtuosity, power and sensitivity are matched by all three artists and here and there one hears shades of the sound world created by the legendary Presti-Lagoya duo in the phrasing and timbres used by this exciting trio.

So here are three extremely rewarding and out-of-the-mainstream works done with style in every department in a recording which is uniformly good and clear. These three pieces are all highly impressive and I strongly recommend this brilliant new release.

Steve Marsh

Chris Dumigan
Chris Dumigan CD Reviews, Guitar Magazine

Classical Guitar Magazine – January 2002 – CD Reviews – Excerpts

Roland Chadwick – The Revealing. Classical Guitar Magazine – January 2002

Letter from LA is different again, with a gently swaying first movement, a rhythmic lilting second movement that hits you and stays, an exotic and almost sensual third movement and a rollicking final movement with multiple strums and percussive effects throughout. A truly original and excitingly performed guitar trio which any established trio ought to seek out and try: the audience will love it!

I loved this CD from start to finish and provided you, the reader are not biased against anything not entirely traditional in style, then here is a CD that you will put on again and again. Every track is entirely different and yet every track is wonderful music. Go to your local shop and have a listen and then be prepared to spend your money on it.

Chris Dumigan