"I was transfixed by the variety of sounds and colors that Mak infuses into his refined guitar playing. The purity of his tone and flawless articulated style is simply delightful. Mak gives his guitar the same versatility of the piano, and then some.
"On this disc, the gifted young guitarist Mak Grgic uses three different guitars to perform arrangements of music featured in film soundtracks; a flamenco instrument, for example, for Alberto Iglesias’s "Volverino." Mr. Grgic’s imaginative, expressive playing is also heard in Stanley Myers’s "Cavatina"; an excerpt from Mascagni’s "Cavalleria Rusticana"; and selections by Bach, Albeniz, Albinoni, Bernstein and Nino Rota." - Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times
"This CD appeals to so many tastes, offering age-old classical selections as well as beloved movie scores. Mr. Grgic surmounts the obstacle of emulating an orchestra with a single instrument, always creating the illusion of many voices singing in unity - all executed with gorgeous tone and panache . I highly recommend for anyone to find a quiet moment to listen to it all, and enjoy." - Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster, Los Angeles Philharmonic
"In his official debut solo CD, Cinema Verismo, Mak Grgic performs these film classics with a mastery that will make cinema buffs fall in love with the guitar, and make guitar fans fall in love with this recording!" - Scott Tennant, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
"The Da Camera Society of Los Angeles continues to be proud of our association with guitarist Mak Grgic, as represented through this beautiful recording. Working with Mak and seeing his talents soar has been a joy — and Cinema Verismo will delight the ears of listeners!" - Kelly Garrison, The Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles
"Cinema Verismo showcases the vast and deep interpretive skills of Mak Grgic. His compelling musicianship brings imagination and life to familiar tunes, allowing the listener to hear them with the right balance of nostalgia of an old friend combined with a refreshing new perspective." - Martha Masters, President, Guitar Foundation of America
"Mak's playing on his recent CD, Cinema Verismo, surpasses the limitations of the guitar. His playing has a flow that reaches fluidity not yet heard on the guitar - absolutely heavenly!" - Larry Livingston, Conductor and former Dean of Music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, U.S.C. and Former Music Director at New England
"It was a pleasure for Da Camera of Los Angeles be one of the sponsors of this magnificently beautiful recording. Working with Mak is a true pleasure. Watching his growth as an artist and hearing his craft move to the fore in this recording makes me sure our investment in his artistry was well worth the effort." - Michael Gordon (composer, Bang on a Can)
"Guitarist Mak Grgic has released an adventures CD, Cinema Verismo. Mak's interpretation of traditional guitar repertoire like Albeniz, Granados, and J.S. Bach is amazingly expressive. He finds ways to refresh those long-lasting warhorses of the 20th century guitar repertoire without touching the structure and integrity of the original composer.The new and innovative guitar arrangements on this recording are simply put convincing and beautiful at
the same time... it makes sense to continue the tradition of exploring popular music on the classical, if it is performed with such gusto and expression as delivered by Mak." - Thomas Koch, Guitar Sarasota (Sarasota's Classical Guitar Society)
Mak Grgic is a young, Los Angeles-based classical guitarist. Originally from Slovenia, he has won many awards in Europe and North America. This is his debut recoding. The Washington Post calls him "a lyrical insightful player".
What's that name again? Mak pronounces it for you.
This CD features well-known, popular music which has been featured in movies.
Of a recent concert performance of the music on this CD, the (Texas) Star Telegram said: "…he moved into a program that would have needed a bucket of popcorn to be any more cinematic. The Spanish Dance No. 5 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados offered an interestingly different arrangement of a familiar work. Another highlight of the concert was an even more familiar work, Isaac Albeniz's Asturias, which appears in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This passionate, driving work makes frequent appearances at recitals such as this one, but never wears out its welcome. And Grgic did an excellent job of catering to the expectations of the audience while still make the piece his own."
Catalog: MAR 447
Watch Mak perform music from the CD, and talk about what the recording
means to him.
- Isaac Albeniz: Asturias (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) - Listen
- Pietro Mascagni: Intermezzo Sinfonico from Cavalleria Rusticana (Raging Bull)
- Ennio Morricone: Gabriel’s Oboe (The Mission)
- Vangelis: Chariots of Fire (Chariots of Fire)
- J.S. Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze, BWV 208 (Rainbow)
- Nino Rota: Godfather’s Waltz (The Godfather)
- Alberto Iglesias: Volverino (Volver)
- Leonard Bernstein: Somewhere/Tonight (West Side Story)
- Enrique Granados: Danza Española No. 5 (Kika)
- Tomaso Albinoni/Remo Giazotto: Adagio in G minor (Gallipoli)
- J.S. Bach: Prelude from Cello Suite in G Major, BWV 1007 (Master and Commander)
- Stanley Myers: Cavatina (The Deer Hunter)
- J.S. Bach: Air on the G String, BWV 1068 (Se7en)
- Ennio Morricone: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)
Total playing time: 61:00