PORTRAITS IN GUITARAll compositions by Simonne Draper
SIMONNE DRAPER, guitar
Patrik Henel, guitar
Helena Slavíková, guitar
Jirí Zmek, percussion
"Enjoyment is up for grabs on an MSR Classics guitar CD featuring the compositions and performances of Simonne Draper. The 11 works here are a fairly typical contemporary blend of classical elements with ones drawn directly from pop music... [Finesa is] one of the most affecting, using what is essentially a simple pop/folk melody for continuity as Draper and Patrik Henel weave a variety of harmonies and thematic elements around it... the pieces are pleasant enough to listen to, unchallenging to the ear... Guitar fanciers will enjoy it."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.com [September 2019]
"Each of the Draper chapters brings with it an inescapable magnetism. Simonne Draper’s music is like looking at effervescent Faience pottery, glazed in true blue and white porcelain, signifying saturated brightness and clarity. Sound quality is unblemished. Guitar purists will find this recording hard to resist. Strongly recommended."
Christie Grimstad, ConcertoNet [August 2019]
"it is [Simonne's] guitar, and her melodic inventiveness, that are the stars on this CD... I found it extremely enjoyable... Draper plays the guitar beautifully, in a classical style that is lyrical and clean... This is music to enjoy... it is smooth and very easy to like... The world needs more beauty like this."
Fanfare [August 2019]
"The ten pieces heard here are direct in their appeal and often hauntingly beautiful and evocative... you will probably want to encore the entire program!"
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [September 2019]
PROGRAM NOTESBorn in the former Czechoslovakia, Simonne Draper was raised in Moravia, the same region where the classical composer Leoš Janáček was born and lived. As a child, Simonne listened to the music of Janáček, and also to the music of Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, but she tuned in to pop and rock as well. When she reached 18, Simonne moved to Prague for her studies, where she obtained a degree in law at Charles University. Later, she lived in England, but in 2008 returned to Prague – just before her daughter was born – where she devoted herself full-time to music composition. Simonne began studying classical guitar in her early years at the Music School in Ostrava, and then attended guitar classes at the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague, working with the noted guitarist and composer, professor Milan Tesař. She found her time at the Conservatory deeply inspiring and beneficial, particularly regarding the exploration of innovative guitar playing techniques. During her time there, Simonne was active within a group of local musicians. Performing with them in guitar duos and trios, she appeared in a wide range of venues in Prague and the surrounding areas. Several of Simonne’s works have achieved top placement in international songwriting and composition competitions, both in the United States and Europe. In 2016, she became a member of the Czech Composers Society, a national organization which while promoting the music of its members, also strives to ensure music development in children.
2 Canzonetta dell’Aria
3 Legenda Lila
4 Canzonetta dell’Alba
5 Canzonetta del Sonno
7 La Danza dei Ritmi
9 Canzonetta dell’Acqua
11 La Danza dei Bassi