Guitarist Christina Sandensen

Shades and Contrasts – Christina Sandensen, guitar
Oradek Records  B00MQDAPW2


If you think of classical guitar only as the subdued  cousin of wild flamenco strumming, you’ll be  surprised by this debut release from Christina Sandsengen. The young guitarist is from Norway, and there’s a hint in her playing of what one might imagine as “Scandinavian.” (I’ve never been to Scandinavia, so I’m going on my own uniformed imagination).

Sandensen’s sound very precise. Every note is not only clearly articulated, each has emotional warmth and emotion. Sanderstrom’s sound is not the unleashed passion   of  a Spanish nightclub, but the sound of wind in a Norwegian forest.

This is not to say that Sandenen isn’t convincing in the traditional guitar repertoire. Indeed, most of the pieces on this successful album are traditional Spanish fare: Composers for guitar – Aguado, Albéniz, Aguado and Agustin Barrios Mangoré.

The album also includes a few contemporary works from Domeniconi and Egberto Gismonti, each played with the sureness of the guitarist’s interpretive powers.

One issue for me. Although the recorded sound is especially clear, and shows off handsomely Sanderens technique, it lacks the “space” and “depth” of a room or hall. I wonder if the guitar was “close mic’d” in a studio –  a mic placement used in pop recordings. I think that a more spacious sound in a room or hall would deepen the effect of such fine playing.

Christina Sandensen Website