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Picture of Guitar@Museum cd coverBRUCE PAINE: Guitar @ Museum

New Zealand Musician

Vol. 14 No 6, Oct/Nov 2008

Reviewed by Mark Laurent

This is a not strictly fresh album from Bruce Paine who is a very fine classical guitarist.  Since graduating with honours from Auckland University in 1995, Bruce has given recitals in NZ, Austria, the Czech Republic and Britain.  This is his third album, and it’s excellent.  He and sound engineer Paul McGlashan recorded the 19 tracks over three days in 2003-4 in the grand foyer of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, capturing the remarkable, but challenging, acoustics of the space with expert mic placement (the mics even get a credit), and employing as little additional processing as possible.  The centrepiece of the set is Pioneer Spirit, a suite of five arrangements of traditional NZ folksongs, commissioned by Paine and composed by David Hamilton.  Works by Federico Moreno-Torroba, Isaac Albeniz, Francisco Tarrega and others (some of which you’ll recognise even if you don’t listen to classical music) make for a tasteful mix of freshness and familiarity.  This album doesn’t break new ground, but it treads the corridors of history with confidence.  If you don’t have any classical guitar albums on your shelf this would be an excellent one to start with.

Guitar @ Museum - NZ$25 (P&P Incl.)