Mysterious Boundaries Tony McManus Phantom Tollbooth review

Beautiful and timeless music that originated from a challenge.



Label: Alliance

Time: 46:20

Tracks: 10

Musical ideas originate in all ways. Tony McManus relates how he was challenged by Mike Marshall to "learn it then" when he expressed his appreciation of Marshall's verion of the Bach E major Prelude. This was no empty challenge as Mike Marshall is a respected musician in his own right, who in addition ot his own numerous bluegrass and Americana recordings, has recorded quite a few classical pieces played on instruments not originally intended for those compositions. This was a "do as I do" challenge.

The result of this challenge is a wonderful recording of pieces from the renaissance era to the modern era played using the fingerstyle guitar method. This recording is all the more remarkable when you realize that Tony McManus not only reimagined these pieces from their original settings to an entirely new style, but has received no formal classical training. Amazing.

Those who are familiar with the pieces will find refreshing arrangements of some well loved works. Those not familiar with these compositions will enjoy the sheer beauty of it all, which may just open the door to music you may have not considered previously.

Recommended tracks to start with are "Spanish Dances #4" by Villanesca, and "Aria and Variations" and "Prelude from Partita #3" by Bach, the composition that initiated this process. The title piece "Mysterious Boundaries" is recorded twice, once on a baritone guitar. The comparison in sound and texture is quite interesting.

This is lovely music that can be appreciated in many different environments. If you are a fan of well played acoustic guitar music this record will definitely appeal to you, as would many of the recordings by Tony McManus.


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