Eliot Fisk looks like the happiest man on the planet. Watch that face as he plays guitar. Between performing music by J.S. Bach and partnering with the world’s best flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña, Fisk can barely control his joy. I find his exuberance and their performance undeniably brilliant, inspiring and so completely universal.
The repertoire here ranges from Baroque compositions by Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to present-day flamenco. And what happens when these two master players get together is a mix of meticulous and improvised, with Fisk leaning toward the former and Peña toward the latter.
Fisk was a student — in fact, the last student — of the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Peña was born in Spain and is a composer in addition to being a gifted performer. On these tunes, and with Fisk, Peña tends to never play the same thing quite the same way. It makes for music that’s filled with craft (watch those fingers fly!) and surprise for both the player and the audience. –BOB BOILEN
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in D Major K.33
Bach: Prelude in F major, BWV 927
Peña: “El nuevo día (Colombiana)”
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Olivia Merrion; Production Assistant: Meredith Rizzo; photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR