'It takes very real skill to write as good and convincingly as Nick Fletcher does on this album...a virtuosic guitarist, playing his own works which just happen to be outstanding compositions, all beautifully recorded. What more is there to say? Highly recommended.' - Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)
'It takes very real skill to write as good and convincingly as Nick Fletcher does on this album. He composes credible contemporary material in a variety of idioms including music with the flavours of Spain, South American/Latin, Baroque and Celtic. Seven, from this programme of nineteen pieces, are included on his recent DVD (reviewed separately) in which he talks at length about his music and the compositions themselves. From the superb opening three-movement tribute to the city of Ronda, Spain, Ciudad de Los Encantos, (where one would be forgiven for thinking that here is a lost work of Torroba). One just knows that here is a magnificent technician weaving his magic around the fingerboard in a piece crammed full of Spanish atmosphere with lovely changes of tempo, beautiful melodies and rhythms.
The rather 'edgy' waltz Shadowlands, with its occasional Koshkin-esque shades of melodic direction provides a brilliant contrast to the opening suite and is well worthy of the title track. More contrast comes with the following Shades of Autumn, a highly charged emotional work of sad lyricism and possibly the most beautiful composition in the programme.
More gems follow, in fact there is not track in this recording which couldn't stand on its own merit; everything is top quality in both quality of the compositions and the superb performances Fletcher puts into his music. If required he has the most gentlest of touches, at other times his secure lightning fast technique enables him to play the most exacting and exhilarating music at an extremely high rate of knots. The recording quality (done in the performer's home town of Sheffield, South Yorkshire) is excellent.
So there we have it: a virtuosic guitarist, playing his own works which just happen to be outstanding compositions, all beautifully recorded. What more is there to say? Highly recommended.'
Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine) writing about Nick’s solo CD ‘Shadowlands’
In 2014 Nick performed live, and was featured on the BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ program, presented by Sean Rafferty. His music has been played regularly on Classic Fm.
BY TIM PANTING
The Journey Continues…
An album of original compositions for the guitar is to be welcomed wherever and whenever it appears. In an age where the classical guitar’s appeal appears to be expanding at an astonishing exponential rate, it is also becoming harder to distinguish one player from the next as they all vie to play certain pieces by Brouwer, Rodrigo, etc. faster and more precisely than their rivals; so much so that it sometimes feels like the very soul is being sucked out of what we loved about the instrument in the first place. So it’s nice to be exposed to new repertoire on a regular basis.
I don’t know many biographical details about Nick Fletcher other than he was born in 1960 in Sheffield, England, started playing the guitar around the age of 12, and fairly early on was impressed by the likes of prog-rock guitarists Steve Hackett, Steve Howe, and others. Then, thanks to watching Christopher Nupen’s great Segovia documentary [Segovia at Los Olivos, 1994), he became fascinated with the classical guitar. At some point, too, he fell under the spell of Ralph Towner and one can feel the great ECM artist’s influence on Fletcher’s compositions, but in no way are they slavishly derivative.
What draws me to The Moon Circle (track 7), is where Nick’s guitar is met with the gorgeous flute playing of John Hackett, younger brother of non-other than Steve Hackett, erstwhile Genesis guitarist extraordinaire. Appearing at the halfway point in the album, midpoint of the journey, it is an atmospheric piece set to an E drone, almost raga-like in feel; breathy and insistent. It’s then followed by a lovely Towneresque departure, Dance of the Eagle and the Elk. The joyful playing continues with the koto-like dreaminess of Lake Kawaguchi, followed by brilliant Baroquisms in the two fantasias.
There are too many other delights to spoil, and many interesting stylistic turns, so I would heartily encourage a listen of this wonderful recording, the production of which is superb.
What is immediately refreshing is the fact that Nick Fletcher is a highly accomplished player who has total control over his instrument. A testament to his compositional output is the catalogue of nearly 60 compositions published by Canada’s Les Productions d’Oz>. Being on the roster of that powerhouse of contemporary works for almost all guises of the guitar is no mean feat. The scores of all the tracks on this album, except for pieces seven and 14 are available from Productions d’Oz.
"Nick Fletcher's grasp on this instrument is impressive, outstanding and simply amazing...I was absolutely stunned and speechless with such crafty execution, precision and fluidity."
Denis Brunelle - Sea of Tranquility
Nick & Sean Rafferty from BBC Radio 3
Nick Playing a James Lister Guitar
Nick & Sean Rafferty from BBC Radio 3