Everyday Rather Live in Classic Eras

Sojourn -The Very Best of classical guitarist Xuefei Yang

While it’s a ‘Best Of’ compilation – and as albums these can lack structure and direction by their very nature – the content is quite wisely chosen, including some lesser-known Chinese classical works and two charming miniatures by Classic FM presenter John Brunning (formerly a guitarist with 70s rockers Mungo Jerry) among the well-known musical lollipops. Yang displays her technical brilliance in ebullient showpieces such as Tárrega’s  ‘Carnival of Venice’ Variations and some very adept transcriptions of Bach, including Air on a G String and Prelude in C played on a deep-voiced seven-string guitar. What singles out Yang’s playing, however, is her natural, fluent musicality that makes narrative sense of every phrase she interprets – even a creaky old warhorse like the Adagio from the Concierto de Aranjuez sounds freshly coloured and exciting in her hands, and she plays the ubiquitous theme fromThe Deerhunter with breathtaking simplicity. While it is a bit of a hotchpotch, musically this album makes an excellent introduction to the classical guitar in the 21st century, its repertoire, and one of its foremost players.