Sponsored By
 
REVIEW: Peppino D’Agostino, “Penumbra”
 
The fingerstyle virtuoso takes on pieces by composers Sérgio Assad, Roland Dyens, and others.
October 6, 2014

Peppino D’Agostino performs “Sérgio” in the Peghead Nation studio.

 

During a recording career that spans more than three decades, contemporary fingerstyle guitarist Peppino D’Agostino has emerged as one of the most identifiable players in the genre. Combining a keen sense of melody with virtuoso technique, D’Agostino has created a style that is as likely to charm casual listeners as to stun fellow guitar pickers. His new solo recording Penumbra is his most ambitious album to date, showcasing D’Agostino’s ability to turn the steel-string guitar into a miniature orchestra.

D’Agostino’s interest in classical music goes back to 2001’s Classic/Steel (an album of duets with renowned classical guitarist David Tanenbaum), a collaboration that led to the founding of the Pacific Guitar Ensemble, an eight-piece group in which D’Agostino provides the lone steel-string voice. But Penumbra is D’Agostino’s first recording to fully incorporate these influences into his solo playing. The album is split evenly between D’Agostino originals and pieces penned by some of the finest contemporary guitar composers: Sérgio Assad, Maurizio Colonna, Roland Dyens, and Gyan Riley. Of these, Assad’s two contributions, “Peppino Sotto Portico” and “Una Serata a North Beach,” both written specifically for D’Agostino, are particularly noteworthy. Dyens’ “Valse des Anges” is an example of how a familiar piece from the modern classical repertoire can find a new voice on the steel-string guitar. And the strummed parts on Riley’s “Irican” are such a perfect match for D’Agostino that it’s hard to imagine the piece in its original nylon-string context.

D’Agostino’s own tunes are a logical continuation of his “minestrone music” approach. From the modern-but-melodic depth of the album’s title track, to the Celtic tinge in “MB Love” to the Brazilian touches in “Sérgio,” D’Agostino’s many influences melt into a coherent whole.

At a time when more and more steel-string guitarists are exploring the classical repertoire, Penumbra is an important foray into the contemporary classical repertoire, blurring the lines between labels such as “classical” or “fingerstyle,” and simply creating beautiful and engaging music. Bravo, Peppino!

peppinodagostino.com

Related Recordings Posts
Bruce Cockburn  

Derk’s Discoveries: Bruce Cockburn Is Speechless Again

On his new all-instrumental album, the 2017 Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee lets his guitars do the talking.

Read More

 

Derk’s Discoveries: Buck’s Vinyl Solution

Guitarist Buck Curran’s enthralling solo debut is best heard on LP

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Shop Tour | Bourgeois Guitars
A look inside the Bourgeois Guitars shop in Lewiston, Maine.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com