Review: Dancing Hands by Reza Ganjavi

Reza Ganjavi's second album "Dancing Hands" is subtitled "250 years of European favourites". In it he continues his mission to connect classical music with modern listeners.

Dancing Hands by Reza Ganjavi

He presents a series of dance oriented tunes played by Guitar, violin, viola, flute, recorder, cello and piano. Reza's wide experience of performing has given him an unerring ear for putting together good programs.

Once again Reza does a great job of making classical music accessible to the masses, with his sure footed playing and fine tones.

This CD continues his mission to connect classical music with modern listeners.

I recommend the CD to anyone who wants a sample of how well the classical guitar can communicate - it deserves a wide audience.

Here are a few highlights with my comments:

TRACK 1 - Canarios - Gaspar Sanz

A lively Spanish Dance, the "Canarios" opens with a series of gorgeous tones played by solo guitar. leads into the tune which is then alternatively strummed, plucked and even hammered out in chords. At about 1 min 45 seconds in Reza keeps the feel going with percussive effects on the guitar body. Up to this point we've already heard a veritable catalogue of the colours an acoustic guitar is capable of. Cello violin and flute then join in to restate the tune with the guitar providing strummed accompaniments.

TRACK 2 - Folias - Gaspar Sanz

Guitar plays through at a steady pace, then fiddle joins in for a rousing, pulse quickening episode as the tempo pickes up.

TRACK 12 - Greensleeves Variations

This is a great arrangement which any gigging guitar - flute duo would get a lot of mileage out of. It could segue neatly into TRACK 15 - which adds viola for more variations on this 'evergreen'.

The booklet is up to Reza's usual high standard with 20 pages in full colour, and providing information in words and pictures about:

  • The composers
  • The musical styles
  • Inspirational aphorisms from great musicians
  • Information on the performers

This adds a lot of value to the CD and really enhances it's "edu-tainment" value.

Tracks:

  • Sanz: Canarios
  • Sanz: Folias
  • Sanz: Pavanes
  • Bach: Minuet in G
  • Bach: Bouree from Lute Suite 1
  • Bach: Prelude Cello Suite 1
  • Bach: Prelude for Lute
  • Bach: Prelude 1 from WTC
  • Scarlatti: Aria in Em
  • Scarlatti: Sonata in A
  • Anon: Scarborough Fair
  • Anon: Greensleeves
  • Negri: Bianco Fiore
  • Narvaez: Guardame las Vacas
  • Rexa Ganjavi: Secret Seasons
  • Anon: Italiana