Virtuoso guitarist and violist Steven Allen Gordon is bringing to listeners of classical music a brand new album filled with modern takes of their classic favorites, entitled, All Over The Map. And it certainly seems like the record is ‘all over the map’ with a wide range of eclectic pieces that encompass a selection of instrumentation that include the electric guitar, viola, piano, classical guitar, and steel-stringed guitar. With a heavy focus on the viola and guitar, Gordon’s collection of music encapsulates diverse musical eras, areas of musical expression, and various instrumentations.
The album opens up with “Electric Bash: Prelude in D Major – J. S. Bach” that starts out with the strumming of the electric guitar. The engrossing sound on this track really resonates. With a soothing and relaxing vibe, a placating quality could be heard of just the sole sounds of the electric guitar. Intricate finger plucking on the guitar resorts to a complex sound and like the title of the song elicits, this is definitely an ‘electric’ number.
Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Prelude No. 1 in E Minor” harnesses a romantic style to the finger work on the classical guitar, here. The lovely sounds as Gordon slowly numerates over the strings progresses into something deliberately more intricate. There is a great tilting sound and a nice ebb and flow to the music. Overall the crystalline cadence really produces a gorgeous sound, beautiful in every way as the gentle music flows over you. The dreamy cadence definitely has a distinct vibe.
“Suite in D Minor for Solo Viola – J. S. Bach – Prelude” pervades a pretty dynamic sound with a dramatic outcome. A certain amount of urgency is also showcased with some great classical nuanced fare from Bach. The intricate sound is created solely from the viola as Gordon’s expert playing vibrantly shows the type of sweeping music that will be able to highlight any movie soundtracks or even to relax to while you unwind.
The melancholy sound of the strings on “Suite in D Minor – J. S. Bach – Allemande” is orchestrated with dramatic light. The dynamic sound is filled with vibrant and lush cadences from the strings. The viola really sings a tune containing a sort of hushed expectancy on this track.
“Suite in D Minor for Solo Viola – J. S. Bach – Courante” elicits a really vibrant sound coming from the viola. The strings give off a romantic appeal to the track. There is definitely also an engrossing appeal to the song with a sweeping, incandescent, and dramatic melody.
“Suite in D Minor for Solo Viola – J. S. Bach – Sarabande” is a resplendent classical rendition that is played with passion. The sole sound of the viola will really cast a spell on audience members.
“Suite in D Minor for Solo Viola – J. S. Bach – Menuete 1 and 2” carries a melancholy sound to the strings. Filled with the somber cadences of the viola on this track the dramatic performance features lithe playing and a feather-like grace to the lively rendering.
“Suite in D Minor for Solo Viola – J. S. Bach – Gigue” is played in an energized fashion. Like the previous tracks, the Bach composition is meant for the cello but in this rendition, the track is transcribed for the viola. This classical song is played with eager and in a robust manner that fully elicits the drama that is on the track.
“Breaking Point – Laurence Juber” contains the strumming of the steel-stringed guitar. There is some great numerating over the acoustic guitar with a jubilant vibe and a haunting melody on the stellar sound.
“Prelude in E Minor – Heitor Villa-Lobos” is played on the classical guitar that gives this classical bent track a Western feel to the melodious sounds and rhythmic pulse of the composition. The song really delves into the old West territories with its dramatic playing and Latin vibe off this track. Towards mid-track, the sounds of the singular plucking of the guitar strings could be heard produced from the titillating and tantalizing approach.
“Ballad for Viola and Piano – Ralph Vaughn Williams” has some lovely sounds coming from the viola and piano that traces the track. The piano-laden and viola-based track eventually shifts to a more melodious sound with a more upbeat tempo and a more vibrant vibe mid-track. Then the song goes back to its more melancholy flavor with a slower pace.
On “Capricho Arabe – Francisco Tarrega,” there is a Latin-flavor obvious on the track. Filled with the fieriness of the classical guitar playing, the song is filled with a flamenco-twist. The vibrant and upbeat sounds of the classical guitar pervades the song.
“Prelude in D Major – J. S. Bach” incorporates melodious strumming on the classical guitar. The blithe and lithe playing showcases some serious numerating over the guitar. The intricate and rhythmic finger-work on the classical guitar traces a dreamy and haunting approach.
“Vivo con molto preciso for Viola and Piano – William Walton” incorporates the piano and viola accompaniments. The dynamic and energized playing features frenzied strings and frantic piano melody. The track depicts a whimsical landscape that the music traverses, a solely magical soundscape.
“Blues Intro – Joe Pass” denotes some clear bluesy and jazzy connotations. The jazzy flair and big bustling blues complement each other. There are some really electric sounds coming from the electric guitar. There is definitely a stellar bluesy style coming from the track with the last note resounding until the very end.
Be transcended by the magical sounds and visual enticements of this great album that hones the approaches of classical music with readily implementation of eclectic instrumentations of the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, viola, and piano.
Cited to having played the viola for thirty years, and over thirty years performing for orchestras, chamber ensembles, and music festivals, Steven Allen Gordon brings in his latest release a fully nuanced album with umbilical ties to classical music redone with modern instrumentation that takes these classical renditions and refashiona them into a more contemporary setting.
This album is for those fully inclined toward classical music but more towards an eclectic bent. Filled with the aesthetically pleasing sounds of such great composers like, Bach, Pass, Tarrega, Villa-Lobos, Vaughn Williams, Walton, and Juber, be sure you have a listen today!