Through the magical musical talent and death defying fingers of guitar virtuoso Grigory Goryachev the worlds of Spanish art music and flamenco are brought together in this brilliant debut CD. As we hear here so clearly, the line leading from 19th century Spanish piano virtuoso Isaac Albeniz to flamenco guitar masters Sabicas and Paco de Lucia is alive with tantalizing musical connections. The distinctive sound of "Spanish" music is actually the result of the cross-pollenation of many cultures over a long period of time. In fact, Spain is unique amongst all European nations in that it was in past centuries dominated by the Islamic people, the Moors, for longer than it has yet to have been ruled by the Christians! In addition, the influence of the Spanish Jews (Sephardim) and above all of the long maltreated gitanos (gypsies) permeated Spanish music. The Reyes Catolicos ("Catholic kings") tried desperately to purge all non-Christian elements, but, as the great psychologist Carl Jung has so sagely pointed out, what we try to drive out the door comes back in through the window! Even the Reyes Catolicos couldn't rid Spain of the magnificent fortress called the Alhambra (one of whose towers is called the Torre Bermeja!), the whirl of popular dance (heard in Cadiz and in the main section of Asturias), the sound of water running in long aquaducts from the mountains into the city of Granada (so tellingly captured in Albeniz's music!) or even the muezzin's call to prayer (as in the middle section of Asturias!) In flamenco music the drone of the Moorish lute was kept alive in the Danza Mora; the keening lament of the Gitanos found expression in the Soleá and the Tarantos; the wild cross rhythms of popular dance exploded in the Fandangos and Bulerias. Thanks to this latest scintillating disc from VGo Recordings, we can now all join in the festivities. Eliot Fisk Boston May 8, 2006 A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, guitarist Grisha (Grigory Goryachev) has been acclaimed the world over for his blinding virtuosity and extraordinary musical sensitivity. As a master of both flamenco and classical styles he has created a new genre all his own and garnered praise from such guitar luminaries as Paco de Lucia, Christopher Parkening, and Eliot Fisk. Following his debut at the age of nine, Grisha enjoyed an extensive career as a child prodigy, performing regularly before large audiences in the most prestigious concert halls of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Riga, and other major cities in the then Soviet Union. He also appeared regularly on Soviet television and radio and was featured in numerous major newspapers and magazines. His participation at the age of 13 in the T.V. marathon, "Revival of St. Petersburg", was transmitted live to more than one hundred countries worldwide. In 1991 Grisha was awarded second prize in the Danny Kaye International Children's Awards held in the Hague, Netherlands. Sponsored by UNICEF, this competition featured participants on all instruments from twenty-six countries. Later that same year Grisha was invited to perform at UN headquarters in New York City. Directly thereafter he toured Scandinavia and performed by special invitation for the Royalty of Iceland. In 1993 Grisha was chosen to represent his native city in the "Days of St. Petersburg in Jerusalem" Festival, and in 1994 at the invitation of Vladimir Spivakov, he performed at the "Festival International de Colmar" held in memory of Andres Segovia in Colmar, France. Following a tour of Spain, Grisha was invited to play for flamenco legend, Paco de Lucia, who soon after personally intervened in support of his application for an American visa (subsequently awarded in the year 1995 on the basis of "Extraordinary Ability"). Since coming to the United States Grisha has continued his lifelong love affair with fl amenco while deepening his involvement with the classical style. His repertoire now includes classical solos, chamber music and guitar concertos and more than six hours of flamenco solos by such composers as Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, Manolo Sanlucar and others. As the fl amenco repertoire is for the most part unpublished, Grisha has performed the somewhat incredible feat of transcribing it all himself by ear from the recordings. Grisha began to play the guitar at the age of seven, studying first with his father, Dmitry, an acknowledged master teacher of the instrument. Since coming to the United States he has also performed in master classes taught by Cristopher Parkening, Manuel Barrueco and John Williams. At present he continues to balance international concert obligations with study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he is earning his Doctoral degree under American virtuoso, Eliot Fisk.