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Dragoș Ilie - Guitar Delights, December 1st, CD Review

The Guitar Delights album was released this year by the Casa Radio Publishing House (whose booklet is signed by Irina Cristina Vasilescu), a CD recorded by guitarist Dragoș Ilie, one of the most valuable Romanian musicians of the young generation, Heirs of Musical Romania laureate and first place winner this year of the famous international guitar competition in the Chinese city of Changsha.

"One of the most charismatic and expressive young guitarists of his generation", as Dragoș Ilie was described in international media. He studied in Iași, then in the United States, and now he's a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin, where he has also begun his teaching career. He has a rich career in concerts in Europe, Asia and North America and he's won over 20 prizes in highly-esteemed international competitions, some of which guitar competitions in Changsha, Koblenz and Tokyo. In 2021, he was a laureate of the Heirs of Musical Romania grant, given by Radio România Muzical, and thus he had a spectacular debut as soloist of the National Radio Orchestra (în a concert adopted by European Broadcasting Union); he also performed special recordings at the Radio Hall, which resulted in the Guitar Delights album.

The album starts with Ciprian Porumbescu's well-known ballad, which gives a melancholic nuance to the entire album. This piece, which uses elements polished by Romanian folklore in a Romantic style, can be seen as a prologue, dedicated almost entirely to East-European music. On this album we can also hear works by Miroslav Tadiæ and Béla Bartók, as well as those of some Romanian composers such as Gabriel Almași or Adrian Andrei, that Dragoș Ilie highlights through an eloquent performance, well-backed from a technical and an artistic perspective. On the same album, the guitarist included his own score, Prelude 1: Indecis, which is an experiment within the improvising sphere. All these recordings depict Dragoș Ilie as a guitar virtuoso, a sensitive musician, with an out-of-the-ordinary technique.

Larisa Clempuș