Sharon Isbin is one of the most well-known guitar artists. Her latest (2009) CD, “Journey to the New World” brings us an entirely new collection of wonderful pieces. From the song “Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home” from the 16th century, and going on to “Greensleeves” and “Andecy”, we hear the marvelous musical feeling and outstanding phrasing of Ms. Isbin.
The “Baez Suite” that follows is wonderful. The concluding Mark O’Connor “Strings and Threads Suite” moves us forward to the present time, and lets us enjoy the playing of both Isabin’s guitar and O’Connor’s violin. Sections such as “Road to Appalachia” and “Texas Dance Hall Blues” are typical of the charming folk tunes from Ireland and the United States. Throughout the program, Isbin’s technique, warm tone, and her virtuosity penetrate each track. Those who know Isbin only from her Bach, Rodrigo, or Villa-Lobos may be surprised by her naturalness in this more folk-related repertoire.
Isbin, who founded the Juilliard School’s guitar department has been recording and performing for many years. This recent CD is one of her best.
Below is an audio/video recording of Sharon Isbin & Mark O’Connor “Live in NYC”. It’s great fun!!