2. Toryanse Tales
3. Opening Tune
4. Moving Fourths
7. Jagged Rhythms
10. Chromaticism No 1
11. Chromaticism No 2
13. Dream Bells
15. Folk Song Variations
Atanas is a clever guitarist with a fine musicality and an unusually good sense of rythm. He reminds me about the brazilian Assad Brothers, with his smooth and virtouse technique,and his music sounds immediately fascinating with its ethnical sound and rythmical drive.
Guitaren, January 2013
Guitare classique numéro 60, mars-mai 2013
Avec cet « Autoportrait »,Atanas Ourkouzounov montre qu’il fait partie de ceux qui on réussi à trouver l’une des choses les plus importantes qu’il soit: un style,reconnaissable entre tous avec sa manière ,ses caractéristique et ses tournures. Au travers de compositions qui remontent parfois à plus de dix ans et malgré les différentes inspirations,on retrouve un ensemble de manières depuis les « Folk Song Variations »(1999) jusqu’à « Extension »(2011).A l’évidence, on sent davantage de maturité dans l’écriture des pièces plus récentes, mais des éléments caractéristiques demeurent. Citons, entre autres, les rythmes
puisés dans les musiques traditionnelles, un traitement particulier des voix avec un jeu
sophistiqué entre les différents registres, une utilisation subtile des harmoniques, des éléments qui paraissent improvisés, les sonorités percussives, etc. Une musique qui se laisse écouter sans modération.
Atanas Ourkouzounov – « Autoportrait » Doberman DO 818
« Rich of impressions »
I can clearly remember when I heard the Assad brothers, how I was allmost attacked by sounds and music I didn’t yet had realized was to be made by guitarre. A little same thing I get when I listen to composer and guitarrist Atanas latest album. You become bombed by impressions. From his motherland there shifts Bulgarian dances and rythmes past together with jazzy frases and percussive guitarreeffects, alltogether inside genuinly wellmade compositions. The tribute to Jarret leaves the biggest impression and is near genial in it’s way of using the posibilities of the expression of the guitar and the musical nods.
Atanas is one of the greatest representant for a new generation guitarists where the limits of gengre seams to be of non importance.
You could have objections, some of the etudes sounds just like etudes and the guitare sounds sometimes a little weak.
But I can nothing else than being impressed. Over the flow in his playing, the humour as well as the seriousness in the music and the over all love to the guitar.
Placed in a more-or-less reverse chronological order, this programme gives a fascinating insight into the development of the Bulgarian guitarist/composer Atanas Ourkouzounov. Hence the disc begins with a relatively recent work from 2011 and concludes with the composer’s set of variations on a folk song written in 1999. This latter work shows Ourkouzounov’s high musicianship and his application of many and varied guitar techniques, techniques which overflowed into his later, more mature compositions. Having said that, it must be said that this set of variations is possibly the most exciting and exhilarating work on the programme.
He has been awarded several prizes for his compositions, has had many of them published and his works have been performed by internationally recognised players. Listening (for the third time) to this excellent recording it is comes as no surprise that he is held in such respect, not only as a composer but also as an excellent interpreter of his own works. The music throughout is brimming with inventiveness and the many, varied sentiments which run throughout these works provide huge contrasts in musical style. Compare the surging energy of Ostinato, or the stark edginess of Jagged Edge to the serenity of Dream Bells which stands at the opposite musical pole to these others.
Preceding the aforementioned folk song variations comes Kaleidoscore, a hugely entertaining piece during 2006-2007 as a homage to the American jazz pianist Keith Jarrett and once again, demonstrates Ourkouzounov’s brilliant talent for writing in many styles.
This is mesmerising music written by a master craftsman, played by a superb technician and musician. With a very good recorded sound quality and extremely clever front cover design (a multitude of musical staves intermingled and overlapping to form the image of Ourkouzounov), this is a must-get CD for lovers of top-class contemporary guitar music.
Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)