Soundboard Magazine, Volume XXXV, No. 4, 2009
Arabesques is another fine recital disc from Centaur. Many readers will remember the warm review of the disc Musica del arte by Troy King. The producer of that disc was Kathrin Murray. Here, the roles are reversed but the results are equally fine; either way, Murray and King make a fine team. The husband and wife also have a duo, which I would love to hear. Murray begins with seven works which will be unfamiliar to many listeners: five preludes by Gilbert Biberian and two homenajes by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza. All of these are beautiful works which reinforce how much good music is out there waiting to be played, so plaudits are due Ms. Murray for choosing them. Ponce's great Sonata III comes next. It is one of his most profound works and is very well played. In the last movement, a bit more velocity would be in order at times, but the performance is, nonetheless, a success. Maximo Diego Pujol's Cinco Preludios come next. Murray plays them exceeding well. I am not convinced that they are really fine works, but she makes as good a case for them as possible. There are lovely parts in Pujol's pieces, but, for me, their sections don't connect well enough. Only the fourth, "Curda tangueada," seems to have sections which relate well. Two Barrios favorites close the disc. Julia Florida- surely one of the loveliest of guitar works-is played beautifully at a real barcarolle tempo, and a waltz from the composer's opus 8 closes the program well. Murray is a strong, precise, and yet lyrical player. It is nice to make her musical acquaintance.
Atlanta Audio Society
Kathrin Murray in attractive guitar recital
Centaur CRC 2947
A truly beautiful, well-placed tone and nimble fingerwork take guitarist Kathrin Murray a long way in her debut CD Arabesques. The Honolulu native, who now teaches and resides with guitarist husband Troy King in Baltimore, has put together a program that shows what the world loves about classical guitar music with a (mostly) Latin flavor.
She begins with five colorful Preludes by Gilbert Biberian, a British composer of Turkish and Armenian descent. All have descriptive titles and are strongly characterized by Ms. Murray: Tombeau (in memory of the late French guitarist Ida Presti), Arabesques, Las Campanelas (The Bells), and two deftly defined portraits of stock characters from the Commedia dell'arte, Columbine and Pierrot. The last-named features a rare pizzicato effect in which the string intentionally vibrates against the player's hand, creating a hazy sound that accords with the melancholy nature of the traditionally rejected lover.
Next, we have two Homenajes by Spain's Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, paying "homage" respectively to a painter (Toulouse Lautrec) and a composer (Haydn). The Toulouse tribute is the more deftly characterized; those who love the artist and his unique style will have no trouble recognizing it here. Mexico is represented by Sonata III by Manuel Ponce, where classical form meets Latin American feeling. The slow movement, Chanson, is the most memorable and immediately appealing.
Cinco Preludios (5 Preludes) by Argentine composer Maximo Diego Pujol typically have descriptive titles indicating sadness or mystery, such as Preludio Tristan and Tristango en vos (the latter could be roughly translated as "the melancholy tango in you," and is hauntingly beautiful). Candombe en mi partakes of the Afro-South American voodoo culture and sounds appropriately strange and ritualistic. Finally, we have two infectiously elegant pieces, Barcarola Julia Florida and Vals (waltz) reflecting the happy fusion of European and Latin American styles by the beloved Paraguayan guitarist-composer Agustin Barrios Mangore.
The Washington Guitar Society
March, April, May, 2003
"Kathrin Murray is like watching two different people. The performer is taller, older, and intense to the point of brooding. Off stage, the sunny smile and bright, merry disposition of a pixie make one believe that it cannot be the same person."
"When she is on stage the person becomes almost transparent as the warmth of the music especially in slower and more pastoral sections overtakes the playing and assumes a life of its own."
"Playing with beautiful tone one expects from the Peabody School, she relies more on color, as if painting, than brute strength."
"The aficionados eagerly anticipated her slack key pieces. Presented in a purely classical style, Kathrin's playing was lovely as it evoked visions of her home."
- Bill Dykes
The Glouchestershire Echo
August 10, 2000
"(Troy) King later teamed up with Kathrin Murray to perform the atmospheric Mountain Moor by fellow American (Stephen) Funk Pearson."
"Their strong musical rapport was evident in their playing."
"The music was all about enjoying the pleasures of life, which seemed to epitomise the whole spirit of the festival"
- Roger Jones
The Glouchestershire Echo
August 4, 2000
"He (Gilbert Biberian) said: "I want to show people that this is not just a little guitar festival. These people are of world stature. It wasn't a problem getting to play at Charlton Kings. The place has the ambience of a small Cotswold village and they can't wait to play here. This is the chance for people to hear something they would normally only hear in the great cities of the world.""