Sándor Szabó of Hungary and Kevin Kastning of the USA are a modern classical guitar duet, performing their own unique compositions. This is an historic album in that "Resonance" is the first album ever recorded of duets for the 12-string baritone guitar, an instrument invented by Kevin Kastning.
The compositions on the album "Resonance," are a set of 12 inter-related compositions for baritone guitar duet. The performances feature Sándor Szabó on 12-string baritone guitar and 6-string baritone guitar; and Kevin Kastning on 12-string extended baritone guitar and 6-string extended baritone guitar.
Sándor Szabó and Kevin Kastning: Resonance places in the Top 10 Albums of 2007 by “The Perfect Sound” magazine (USA).
:: Reviews for Resonance ::
Yankee Magazine, December 2007
"The abstract expressionist painting on the cover of "Resonance" is fitting. This collection of haunting baritone guitar duets is a thrilling reminder that music is art as well as entertainment. Kastning, a Massachusetts native, is a pioneer in modern acoustic guitar composition, a world seldom visited by mainstream listeners.
In his latest offering Kastning teams up with Hungarian virtuoso Sándor Szabó to produce thirteen puzzling pieces that may be best described as acoustic soundscapes. The album is unmelodic and occasionally atonal (there isn't a single track you can hum), so you won't want it for your daily commute. But the staccato back-and-forth of "Resonance" can be disturbingly peaceful and inspiring for those with enough time to develop an intimate relationship with it. Listen to this disc alone while you're writing, painting, cooking, or whatever it is you consider your art, and see where it takes you."
Acoustic Guitar magazine, February 2008
Resonance: Editor’s Choice (Teja Gerken, editor), Acoustic Guitar magazine, February 2008 (USA)
Sequenza21 magazine, November 2007
"On the basis of this disc, I feel confident saying that Sándor Szabó and Kevin Kastning are both remarkable guitar players and remarkable musicians. Their disc of baritone guitar duos feels like a summit meeting of players in complete sympathy with each other, operating on the same wavelength. (For those wondering about the baritone guitar, it has an intimate, smoky sound, and can be heard doubling the voice on “Into the Fire”, from Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising.)
The music on the disc is a collection of pieces that Szabó and Kastning composed together. There isn’t enough documentation with the disc to tell how written out the pieces are or how much of the composition took place in studio. In either case, they are meticulously planned and executed pieces, mostly tonal and contrapuntal, with some excursions to the edge of pantonality. The pieces are well-constructed, with a casual, lived-in feeling.
The recording is excellent. The sound of the guitars is clean and warm, with clear attacks and no distortion."
- Sequenza21 magazine, (USA)
Acoustic Music Exchange, November 2007
"This disc will most definitely not be for everyone, but those for whom it has been specifically crafted will be delighted, a set of spacious, abstract, and airy penseés on the intelligently pastelline—albeit darkly hued—virtues of two acoustic guitars joined in structured improv dependent only upon the moody cast of the entire selection's grey shadowy flavors. Many years ago, two giants, John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner, came together to create ECM's killer Sargasso Sea, and it set the standard, a highwater mark rarely attempted let alone pulled off. A lustrum beyond, they issued the return meeting, Five Years Later, to general ecstasy. Resonance is like the third meeting, this time with Towner & Abercrombie being joined by Bill Connors in his ECM heyday. That is to say: Szabo and Kastning are a good deal darker than Ralph and John had been, following Connors' Mist and Melting peregrinations.
Now, it should be known that Abercrombie & Towner cannot be surpassed, that's just the set rule, but this duo has made the finest task of it to date. Many hoped Larry Coryell might have braved the venture in his many collabs with Steve Khan, Philip Catherine, and such—somewhat as he had in earlier ensemble releases, The Restful Mind and Spaces, almost catching the quintessence but not quite —but, as thrilling as those LPs were, they weren't of the order of Sargasso Sea. Resonance, however, comes damnably, impressively close. Very satisfying, it persistently etches itself in mercurialities, evanescence, and threnody, boasting a use of baritone guitars exclusively, hand-crafted instruments yielding rich tones and meaningful shades.
This CD is an hour-long spree of slowly shifting Dantean environments and atonal wanderings in fields close by yet far from the safe pastures of urbanity. Wild is the heather here, foggy the banks, and mysteriously does the day pass in reveries and echoing tastes. Like many such releases, it works beautifully as background chiaroscuro or closely followed fare. Either mode repays the attentions given, but it is not—and I can't stress this firmly enough—of an ilk with the New Age duets the disc might initially be mistaken for (the cover is very pleasant two-toned abstract canvas). Such things are 99% milk-blooded tomfoolery, while Resonance breathes, whispers, cajoles, sulks, and hypnotizes in an extremely literate fashion. Therefore, do not send to know for whom the muttering minor chords ring, they beckon thee."
Acoustic Music Exchange (USA)
The music draws from diverse influences in both the symphonic and chamber music worlds. The music is hauntingly beautiful, expressive and flowing; and draws the listener into Sándor Szabó and Kevin Kastning's sound world.
Greydisc Records' 24-bit digital recording is an incredibly rich, lush, and full recording; fully capturing all the nuances of the sound environment created and inhabited by Sándor Szabó and Kevin Kastning.