Reviews



'Adam Brown is a wonderful talent, deeply musical and artistically sensitive. He has proved himself to be a performer of the highest level. I give Adam Brown my highest recommendation.’

Sharon Isbin (Multi-Grammy Award Winning Guitarist, Juilliard School Guitar Department Director)




'Without Limits, the third album offered by Adam Brown, is yet another example of the British guitarist’s keen awareness of repertoire and it’s function for modern audiences.  On this disc, Brown shares new insight into his understanding of guitar music with a number of interesting projects, conveyed with all the musical sensitivity and rigour we have come to expect from this outstanding performer.’

Classical Guitar Magazine-Without Limits

                                                                                

    Read the full article here (click to enlarge):




‘Brown clearly plays with technical command and musical sophistication, and the music is wonderful.’

Soundboard Magazine-The Rebels Within



London based guitarist Adam Brown offers a charming selection of contemporary works that bridge the classical and popular music genres. There are many high points, including a new arrangement of ‘Monk’s Mood’, a wonderful interpretation of seldom played ‘Missing Her’ by contemporary composer Fred Hand and Bryan Johnson’s creative ‘Magic Serenade’. Brown’s tone is warm and pleasing throughout. This release offers a rewarding glimpse at contemporary American guitar music.’

Minor 7th Journal-Without Limits




‘Adam Brown is an exciting new talent.’

BBC Radio Scotland-Classics Unwrapped








‘Gladios, Adam Brown’s second solo album after The Rebels Within, showcases works by prominent Latin American composers – Lauro, Montes, Barrios, Piazzolla, Chávez and Brouwer. The album is an excellent presentation of classical guitar music from Latin America and deserves to be heard whether you are a devoted classical-guitar enthusiast or an occasional listener. Adam Brown is a wonderful talent, deeply musical and at once audacious and sensitive in his interpretation of the pieces he has chosen to perform.

The CD opens with Antonio Lauro’s Virgilio (Bambuco tachirense). This is a very strong and spirited opening track and Brown performs the piece with passion and verve. The skill and refinement of Brown’s playing allow for great clarity in the melody and the bass line creates a wonderful counterpoint. Lauro’s Seis por derecho, is played with much flamboyance and élan. The irresistible enthusiasm of Brown’s playing here rivals any recording I have heard (as a contrast check out the wonderful piano rendition by Clara Rodríguez on her CD Venezuela). Again despite the complexity of the piece there is great clarity and precision in Brown’s expression and execution.

In contrast, the second track, Preludio de adiós by Alfonso Montes has a beautiful haunting melody as Brown’s guitar positively sings with a passionate yet dreamlike tenderness. Vals No. 4 by the great Agustín Barrios is rich and exquisite in its cheekiness. As in all his performances, Brown’s delivery is effortless, heartfelt and bewitching. This is my favourite piece on the album; the changes in tempo and mood are magical and Brown captures the spirit of the waltz to perfection. Tracks 5 and 6, also by Barrios, seem very personal interpretations and Brown places his own personality, colour and expression onto very popular pieces. Danza paraguaya in particular is exceptional and demonstrates Brown’s vitality and technical mastery of his instrument. Julia Florida is in the main slower than other recordings I have heard but it is graceful and appears to be a very reflective and intimate expression of this famous piece.

The three tracks by Astor Piazzolla are a delight, a contrast to much of the CD, but well chosen. The pieces are played with passion and tenderness, rawness and warmth and the harshness of some of the music is interlaced with exquisite melody that leaves the listener enthralled.

The Three Pieces for Guitar by Carlos Chávez, are quite distinct. Here the compositions can sound dissonant and moody and require a little more effort on the part of the listener. However, Brown again connects closely to the music through his rendition of the pieces, evoking a range of feelings in the listener from desire and longing to faraway serenity and calm. These pieces demand a high technical level which Brown delivers as he showcases his wide-ranging ability on the guitar and communicates the mysticism and lyricism of Chávez’s works.


The final track is a musical tour de force, a distinctive and memorable piece with which to round off the CD. Leo Brouwer’s Cuban Landscape with Bells is simply formidable, as haunting as it is passionate and heartfelt. The playing is superb and Brown brings out all the colour, intricacy and fire of this complex piece. He uses numerous technical skills such as ligado, wonderful rasqueado and broken chords and his use of harmonics to create a campanella effect is exceptionally sophisticated. Brown indeed paints a rich and vibrant Cuban landscape through a charismatic and truly soulful performance – dramatic, evocative, beautiful.


Adam Brown is a performer of the highest level. He communicates respect and admiration for the pieces he plays and one can only feel respect and admiration for his accomplished performance of this eclectic mix of music. Gladios is highly recommended, an excellent addition to the collection of any classical guitar devotee. The music is wonderful, the performances powerful and Brown’s musicianship rises to the challenge of some complex compositions. Gladios should offer many pleasant listening hours to lovers of classical guitar music and will no doubt attract the attention Brown manifestly deserves and garner considerable critical acclaim. Adam Brown is undoubtedly a name for the future.


Iberian and Latin American Music Society-Gladios







Adam Brown is a guitarist of deep musical understanding and expression. His intelligence and commitment consistently make for compelling and illuminating listening experiences.’

William Kanengiser (Multi-Grammy Award Winning Guitarist-Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Founding Member)









‘‘You play beautifully, musically, accurately and persuasively. I’m a happy composer today!

Composer Paul Lansky-Without Limits




‘Gladios is a very beautiful and musically enriching collection of Latin American guitar music. Familiar works by Lauro, Barrios, and Brourver are played very well, and as in the best recordings, the fabulously pretty Julia Florida is not too fast. Three of Piazzolla’s Cinco Piezas are included but played well enough to make one wish for the other two. Carlos Chavez’ Three Pieces for Guitar still do not get played often enough. While having a harder edge than standard Latin “pops,” they are extremely interesting works, especially when played as well as Brown does. Brown has a winner here.’

Soundboard Magazine-Gladios



‘Building on the success of his much celebrated 2009 debut album, Adam Brown has recorded his second disc, Gladios. While his first album focused on contemporary music, Brown has decided this time to highlight the lovely and diverse music of South America. The works he selected are a careful balance of the main-stream and the more obscure. In the case of the more familiar compositions, Brown’s technique and interpretations are truly masterful. Julia Florida, for example, a familiar work to guitarists everywhere, is so immaculately adorned by Brown with subtlety and nuance that it will satisfy even the most discerning of tastes.


It seems that at no point does Brown restrain himself, exploring a range that spans the most delicate touch all the way through to rousing blossoms of arpeggiatic flourishes. As the disc progresses, Brown delves into the syncopated and percussive world of Astor Piazzolla, simultaneously expanding the tonal possibilities of the South American style and forming a bridge between the more traditional opening of the disc, and the more experimental second half. Brown closes the disc with one of the most forward-thinking and prolific composers of our time, Leo Brouwer. Cuban Landscapes with Bells perfectly blends the avant-garde and the delicately beautiful. After an unorthodox and rhythmic climax, it gently concludes Browns disc with an extended harmonic section that eventually trails off into the distance. It is a unique and satisfying end to what is truly an excellent recording.’

Minor 7th Journal-Gladios









‘Brown really looks at the Nocturnal with new eyes. This is a very fine CD, and definitely would be enjoyed by anyone who likes their music big and bold. His playing is very good indeed.’

Classical Guitar-The Rebels Within









‘Brown, here recording his debut album, plays with conviction and sensitivity. He has clearly chosen works that are important to him, and his knowledge and love of them come through in the recording.’

Albion Magazine-The Rebels Within







‘Adam Brown’s debut disc is a collection of classical guitar works which serve to highlight his talent as a musician as well as his appreciation for the evolution of classical music in the twentieth century. Brown has introduced himself as a skilled guitarist deeply entrenched in the classical tradition, and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.’

Minor 7th Journal-The Rebels Within