Great work and virtuosity of José Manuel Dapena

"Great work and virtuosity of José Manuel Dapena playing Fantasía sobre motivos de “La traviata” by Julián Arcas"
Luis Suñén, Scherzo. October 2020

"Estupendo trabajo y virtuosismo de José Manuel Dapena tocando la Fantasía sobre motivos de “La traviata” de Julián Arcas"
Luis Suñén, Scherzo. Octubre 2020

“A new perspective on repertoire, flawless performance”

“A new perspective on repertoire, flawless performance”
Esther Martín, Revista Ritmo. October 2015
“Un nuevo punto de vista al repertorio, una ejecución impecable”.
Esther Martín, Revista Ritmo
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La iniciativa del guitarrista español José Manuel Dapena se corresponde con la de una generación de músicos con iniciativas independientes a la trayectoria de un sello discográfico ya establecido en el mercado. Su proyecto recibe el nombre de Air Classical, un sello propio que permite descargarse los discos desde internet en formato mp3 a un precio muy ajustado; además, la web incluye un apartado de partituras. Su creador, alumno de David Russell y de José Luis Turina, ya ha grabado dos discos y los ha alojado en su web y en plataformas como Amazon. El primero, Rincón Mágico, recopila la obra completa para guitarra de los manuscritos de Joaquín Turina, una encomiable labor que interesará a los estudiantes de guitarra porque, lejos de las personales versiones de Andrés Segovia, presenta el original según fue concebido. El segundo disco, pie de una guitarra, es una selección de obras inspiradas en la poesía de Miguel Hernández, entre ellas el Tango de la casada infiel y la Suite Mística de Vicente Asencio y los Preludios epigramáticos de Leo Brouwer. Un nuevo punto de vista al repertorio, una ejecución impecable y la inclusión del material en internet confieren un enorme valor valor a la propuesta de Dapena.
Esther Martín, Revista Ritmo

"No doubt this Carnegie Hall debut was a success." by New York Concert Review

José Manuel Dapena, guitar
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
February 6, 2008

The excellent guitarist José Manuel Dapena presented a marvelous spectrum of Spanish music at Weill Recital Hall on February 6th, and while I usually prefer more stylistic variety, the concert will not soon be forgotten. Dapena was no doubt a specialist tonight, and that term - while sometimes implying a limitation - is also a way of bringing focus to a genre that needs exploring - a worthy focus in this case - to Spanish culture via the guitar.

Mr. Dapena chose well in his selection of the music. Scores by Turina, Vázquez, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Eduardo Sainz de la Maza are not all household names, but the audience seemed to feel that they should be, and I for the most part agree. Turina was featured twice with his Danzas gitanas, Op. 55 and his Danzas fantasticas, Op. 22. Dapena made a case for the former of the two, with an excellent opening Zambra, a seductive Danza ritual and an engrossing Sacro-Monte. Still, Danzas fantasticas is better known for a reason, as every single note is inspired. Dapena knows this music like the back of his hand, and although I would like to hear him try other composers such as Bach, it is always good to know when composers of a particular period or style are in good hands.

Although Bach's music wasn't present, another prelude and fugue appeared: Octavio Vázquez's well crafted Prelude and Fugue for Guitar, Op.16, which was played with both intimacy and flair. Dapena's performances of Jimenez's "Platero and I" and music of Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Eduardo Sainz del la Maza impressed with their continuity and sense of purpose. The playing had profound commitment, and there was much variety of emotion conveyed.

Dapena has recorded his debut CD: "Rincon magico - Spanish music by Joaquin Turina on original manuscripts", and if it is anything like his playing here, I would recommend getting a hold of it.

Upcoming highlights of the 2007/08 season indude debuts in Columbia, Miami, and at the Bangkok Guitar Festival. No doubt this Carnegie Hall debut was a success. Next time, I hope he explores other ethnicities or stylistic periods.

New York Concert Review, Carnegie Hall debut. Anthony Aibel

He is an excellent player by Grammy winner David Russell

"… I have known him since he started to play the guitar as a young student and have seen him progress to a high level."
"… He is an excellent player with a strong warm tone, agile technique and is able to bring magic to the musical phrases"
Grammy winner David Russell, Classical guitarist, Spain.

"… a secure technique, a beautiful tone ... Classical Guitar Magazine

"… intelligent and sensitive performance…"?
"… displayed a range of technical expertise and delicate emotions…?
"… scored full marks in a very memorable performance …"?
"… he plays Bach with good control, lots of energy and well-crafted ornamentation …"
"… a secure technique, a beautiful tone and imaginative interpretational skills …"
Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine, England

Printed November 2000. Volume 19 nº 3

Cedar Park, Derby?23 September, 2000

Bach, Sor and Turina.

The Derby Classical Guitar Society began its series of recitals for this season with the Spanish guitarist Jose Manuel Dapena making his English debut with a recital of, mainly, Spanish music.

The highlight of the evening came, unusually, at the very start of the programme with Sor´s Sonata Opus 25. This four-movement, 27 minute piece was a brave entry for a guitarist hoping to win over a new foreign audience for the first time and in the hands of a lesser player the use of this work as an opening piece could have done him/her no favours. However, the intelligent and sensitive performance from Dapena of one of Sor´s masterpieces made this a definite hit with the enthralled audience. This player displayed a range of technical expertise and delicate emotions which many other performers usually hold in reserve for later on in their programmes when nerves have settled and they are "wamed up". Not Dapena; he went straight for the target and scored full marks in a very memorable performance.The down side of all this was that it almost trivialised the Turina Sonata which followed, albeit this piece was given another fine interpretation.

As a tribute to Bach, and to commemorate the 250th anniversary of his death, the second half began with Suite BWV 1006a - the 4th lute suite. Dapena played this with good control, lots of energy and well-crafted ornamentation and even the odd memory lapse didn´t spoil the flow, the player handling all this with true professionalism.?The evening ended with three more pieces by Turina - Garrotín, Soleares and Fantasía Sevillana; all three played with style and confidence, although I would have preferred it if the player had let himself go a little more with the gradations of the dynamics; he seemed to hold himself back in these pieces which could really have stood more volume at times.?One encore was given - Tárrega´s Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

The recital was a thoroughly enjoyable experience from a guitarist who has the security of knowing that he has at his call a secure technique, a beautiful tone and imaginative interpretational skills.

brilliant professional activity by José Luis Turina.

"…José Manuel Dapena possesses a fully musical training, both in his analytical and written aspect, which benefits his brilliant professional activity…"
José Luis Turina, composer, Spain.

A superb performance by David Tripp

A superb performance, and one can only presume that if he had been in rude health he would have set fire to the curtains.
David Tripp, Southampton, U.K.

... probably better by Graham Benge

... probably better than I’ve ever heard it, that cultural insight perfectly balancing dexterity and attack, giving the piece a vigour rarely heard from non Spanish players. Estupendo !
Graham Benge, West Sussex, U.K.

.... Iberian master - Camden New Journal

.... Iberian master, a wonderful selection of music, not only lying at the heart of the guitar repertoire but also at the heart of Spanish culture.
Coriander Stuttard, Camden New Journal, London, U.K.

... was fluid and lively - Greenwood Classical Guitar Society

"Jose´s playing was fluid and lively. The audience were spell bound by this gentleman of the guitar".
John Gates, Greenwood Classical Guitar Society, England

"… a touch of fantasy - Hexham Courant

"… a touch of fantasy and a program greatly appreciated by the audience".
Hazel Thompson, Hexham Courant, England

"… a formidable reputation - METRO life

"… a formidable reputation, wide-ranging yet reassuringly well-crafted".
METRO life - England

it was a good concert - Classical Guitar Magazine

"… it was a good concert by an engaging, delicate and lively player and it was well received by the south coast audience".
Graham Cleaver, Classical Guitar Magazine, England.
Printed June 2002. Volume 20 nº 10

Dapena plays very confidently. Staccato

"… Dapena plays very confidently. At all times the sensation that he guides us through his music with great transparency prevails…"
Detlev Bork, Staccato, Germany

a talented guitarist - Consul General of Spain

"… a talented guitarist and an artistic proponent of the Spanish culture …"
Ricardo Peidró, Consul General of Spain, USA.

a master of the spanish guitar - WGBH Classical Radio

"… a master of the spanish guitar…"
Richard Knisely, WGBH Classical Radio, Boston, USA

... international experience - Space Press

"… wide international experience …"
Robert Bauer, Space Press, USA

the artistry of Dapena ... - Henegar Center for the Arts

"… the artistry of Dapena are a welcome addition …"
Jerry Bries, Henegar Center for the Arts, Melbourne, USA

stirring musicality…" - Florida Today

"… a riveting concert with stirring musicality…"
Sonny Marble, Florida Today, USA

"… extraordinary Spanish guitarist. - Guitarra y Luz

"… extraordinary Spanish guitarist…"
Luis María Bovadilla, Guitarra y Luz, Paraguay.

... clarity showed by the guitarist." - Diario de Leon

"… guitar becomes an instrument where good music turns into beauty,
and much more with the good tone and interpretative clarity showed by the guitarist."
Luis Falcón, Diario de Leon, Spain

... the musicality of an all round artist." - Crónica 16

"José Manuel Dapena, the musicality of an all round artist."
F.Fernández, Crónica 16, Spain

"A Galician artist - La Voz de Galicia

"A Galician artist with magnificent musical level."
M.Garabantes, La Voz de Galicia, Spain

"A Galician musician - Faro de Vigo

"A Galician musician with wide international career"
Anxo Lamela, Faro de Vigo, Spain

"… he astonished a hundred fifty people - Diario de Soria

"… he astonished a hundred fifty people who bursted into applause…"
"… excellent guitarist, with a thorough technique and possessor of great musicality…"
José del Rincón, Diario de Soria, Spain.