Reviews

All Recordings Solo Orchestra

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Barrios in black and white

John Williams might not be the first or foremost interpreter of the Paraguayan guitar maestro Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944), but he is certainly the best known. In the 1970s, Williams introduced Barrios’s music to audiences outside Latin America through television and concert performances and the album From the Jungles of Paraguay: John Williams Plays Barrios (1977). For a recording closer in spirit to Barrios’s own performances, though, you might prefer Berta Rojas’s Intimate Barrios (1998).

Dominic Green
[ United States ]
Felicidade
[ CD Album ]

The straightforward, honest and electric performances give voice to the music with a feeling of being born on the spot. Recorded in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, the sound throughout has fire and soul.

Lawrence Vittes
Gramophone
[ United Kingdom ]
Felicidade
[ CD Album ]

Berta Rojas is one of the most active and original guitarists of the international musical scene. The Latin-American matrix of her discography reaches its ultimate consecration with this album. We are before a truly beautiful work which renders homage to the boundless Brazilian musical legacy.

Guitart Magazine
[ Italy ]
Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]
Berta Rojas and Camerata Bariloche Dazzle with Inventive New Disc

All in all, it's a lively, creative, and altogether brilliant excursion into the world of tangos, milongas, and Argentinian popular music. Just as Rojas turned out to be a definitive interpreter on Barrios (Intimate Barrios), she can now add Piazzolla and tango repertoire to her impressive list of conquests.

Blair Jackson
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]
Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]

irresistible disc featuring guitarist Berta Rojas and Camerata Bariloche...

Donald Rosemberg
Gramophone
[ England ]
Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]
World Music: “A Brief History of Tango”

Historia del Tango succeeds on multiple levels and, as such, can satisfy listeners who explore its riches in a variety of ways. It is easy on the ears-the tango being at once light and playful while retaining the irresistible rhythmic pulse that once made it the envy of the dancehalls. Though the compositions are familiar within the tango tradition, the novel pairing of guitar with chamber group reveals new facets of each song that should satisfy novice and connoisseur alike.

Rob Vollmar
World Literature Today
[ USA ]
Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]

Perhaps the wait has been worth it, because these performances by the absolutely lovely Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas and Camerata Bariloche have the heat to make your blood run faster.

Raul da Gama
WORLD MUSIC REPORT
[ ]
Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]
Berta Resumes Her Role as Instructor--History of Tango by Berta Rojas and Camerata Bariloche

Berta is phenomenal in her execution. If one were to ever need reminding of why Berta Rojas is a guitarist without peer, this track (Nightclub 1960) alone is sufficient to remind.

Travis Rogers Jr.
THE JAZZ TIMES
[ USA ]

…an ambassador for the Classical guitar…

Tim Panting
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]

…90 minutes maintained at the highest levels of performance and interpretation…

Colin Cooper
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]

…Berta Rojas, guitarist extraordinaire

Mark Adamo
Washington Post
[ USA ]

Rojas clearly has Barrios" music deeply in her blood; playing entirely from memory, she traversed the composer's stylistic range, from the poignant "El Ultimo Canto" through classically inspired works like Estudio de Concierto…

Stephen Brookes
The Washington Post
[ USA ]

It was an unforgettable concert

Thérèse Wassily Saba
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]
Berta Rojas: guitar elegance

It takes a skilled guitarist to toss off the demanding reaches in the Agustín Barrios classic "Un Sueño en la Floresta" while sustaining a fingered tremolo. The Peabody trained Rojas dispatched the song elegantly, with a tremolo like liquid crystal, so seamless that one could imagine a balalaika player had joined her onstage.

The Washington Post
[ USA ]
La Guitarra California Classical Guitar Festival

The fabulous and effortless manner of her playing coupled with the sensual quality of her phrasing provided convincing evidence that Barrios truly wrote for her alone to perform…

Charles J. Walsh
Guitart Magazine
[ USA ]

I came across Berta Rojas this year playing a Ginastera sonata with such inner strength and such a display of richness in guitar and musical techniques that I think she is inaugurating a new dimension in the emotional reach of this instrument.

Washington Roldán
El País
[ Uruguay ]

…Las Abejas were performed brilliantly …these insects in the hands of Berta Rojas, could rule the world.

Colin Cooper
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]

…Expectations were exceeded at her eloquent interpretive maturity, in which nothing was left to chance, and wherein the dialectic between technique and expressiveness were synthesized in moments of sublime art. Despite her youth, Berta Rojas stands at the podium of the great Guitar artists

Aníbal Cardozo Ocampo
Diario Última Hora
[ Paraguay ]

…Berta plays in a nuanced, exquisitely way, with a limpid guitar sound, and a musical and instrumental transparency itself to the top performers. Carlevaro's, Fernández's and Payssé's worthy disciple, this guitarist has inherited from them a disciplined perfectionism, but she was able to colored it with her own instincts and her own nature, avoiding the danger of neatness becoming depersonalized

Washington Roldán
El País
[ Uruguay ]
Intimate performance

Rojas' dynamic sensibility allows melodies to develop organically, beginning with a mere whisper, growing to fruition then fading back into the shadows. Her ability to translate the beauty of Paraguayan music, from the elegant to the playful, makes her not only a cultural emissary as Paraguay's Ambassador of Tourism, but a captivating performer.

Brandon Cobb
The Stateman
[ USA ]

The beauty of Paraguayan music came in the hands of Berta Rojas. Impressive technique, voluptuous tone, ascending all the way.

Alberto Zúñiga
La Nación
[ Costa Rica ]

I came across Berta Rojas this year playing a Ginastera sonata with such inner strength and such a display of richness in guitar and musical techniques that I think she is inaugurating a new dimension in the emotional reach of this instrument.

Washington Roldán
El País
[ Uruguay ]
The Vieja Casona (old abode) Cradled Barrios once more

Moving concert by Berta Rojas at the home of Mangoré. It was as if the music had been locked up in the adobe walls and found freedom through her hands. Berta Rojas held the concert at the Casona Mangoré, the home where the great Agustín Barrios was born and lived his childhood.

Diario Noticias
[ Paraguay ]
Caaguazú received her with a Full House.

A true artist gives himself over to his audience, Barrios himself used to say, and she followed that maxim to the letter. From her soundbox, the guitar, she created a fountain from which music, color and magic emanated.

Diario Noticias
[ Paraguay ]
Berta Rojas deeply moved the Audience that filled the Basilica in Pilar.

Through the works of Tárrega, Albéniz, Savio and Juan Falú she demonstrated her enormous interpretative versatility, her great capacity to transmit the content of the works as well as her exceptional humanity and warmth.

Diario Noticias
[ Paraguay ]
Successful Recital by Berta in Villarrica.

In the second part, the audience"s love affair with the performer reached its pinnacle with "El Último Canto", "Cueca", "Maxixe", "Las Abejas" and "Ha che valle" by Mangoré.

La Nación
[ Paraguay ]
Rome Day and Night "Pizzicatti and Magical Arpeggios

Tribute to Latin American music. Applause and encore requests.

Il Messagero
[ Italy ]
Paraguay guitar icon gets standing ovation

The unbearable heat and humidity outside Meralco Theater didn't dampen the spirit of Manila's music lovers who gave Paraguay guitar icon Berta Rojas a standing ovation after the last section of Agustin Pio Barrios Mangore's "La Catedral," which left no doubt about the immense stature of the visiting artist.

Pablo A. Tariman
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
[ Philippine ]
Perfectly attuned

I have not watched another guitarist who could draw such warmly golden tones out of a piece of wood! Nor have I encountered a guitar more sonorous or more deeply throated; listening to this one guitar was equivalent to listening to a choir of them!

Julie Yap Daza
Tempo Philippines Newspaper Tabloid
[ Philippine ]
La Historia del Tango
[ CD Album ]

[ Review available only in Spanish ] Una obra de antología. Doce clásicos del cancionero popular rioplatense, mano a mano entre Berta Rojas y la Camerata Bariloche.

Jorge Coronel
ABC Color
[ ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]

All is performed to perfection by an artist who seemingly takes everything in her stride… One runs out of superlatives when writing about Berta Rojas, it has all been said before, countless times

Steve Marsh
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]

In the hands of Berta Rojas, the classical guitar truly becomes the world's instrument---a means of bridging wide cultural divides via the uncommon clarity and inherent loveliness of her music

Mark Holston
Latina Magazine
[ USA ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]

Berta Rojas is a musician of fascinating intellect and a great depth that reaches down to her very soul

Raul da Gama
WORLD MUSIC REPORT
[ ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]

Rojas plays poetically without ever slipping into nostalgia or cliché. Her technique and phrasing display years of training and a burning love for South American folk music. An album that instantly becomes a best friend.

Marc Myers
JazzWax
[ USA ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]
Salsa Roja; the New Album from Berta Rojas A Latin American journey of life and love

From the first track with instruments from a landfill to a final track of celebration, "Salsa Roja" is a portrayal of life and love. Above poverty, above loneliness, above sadness, love and music and the love of music carries on in a dance without end.

Travis Rogers
THE JAZZ TIMES
[ USA ]
Salsa Roja
[ CD Album ]
Colores y surcos latinoamericanos en "Salsa roja"

In "Salsa Roja", Rojas immortalizes the joyful, nostalgic and pure soul offered by the album's fusion of Latin American influences.

Jorge Coronel
ABC Color
[ Paraguay ]
Día y Medio
[ CD Album ]

Día y Medio (A Day and a Half) is the staggering new collaborative album by Berta Rojas and Paquito D’Rivera. In a word, Paraguay has much to celebrate and the world should be celebrating with them, especially in the new-found exposure to the amazing music of this amazing country.

Travis Rogers, Jr
THE JAZZ TIMES
[ USA ]
Día y Medio
[ CD Album ]

Classical guitarist Berta Rojas is more than just another renowned concert artist; she is the international cultural ambassador of her homeland, Paraguay. As such, she"s long been on a one woman crusade to make better known the under appreciated classical music of this small South American nation

Mark Holston
Latino Magazine
[ USA ]
Intimate Barrios
[ CD Album ]

The qualities of Barrios are aurally conveyed to us through the music by Rojas: love of beauty, goodness, spirituality and love itself. There is great tenderness in some of the interpretations but Rojas is capable of chameleon-like swings in mood as required in La Catedral, and the transition from Choro da Saudade to Las Abejas.

Zane Turner
Guitar International
[ USA ]
Terruño
[ CD Album ]

Rojas is an artist unrestrained by technique and able to relate to the guitar within a realm of deep expression. A naturalness of phrasing, with constant variety in rubato, dynamics, and articulation, maintains a freshness of delivery without losing any sense of coherence.

Jim McCutcheon
Soundboard Magazine
[ USA ]
Terruño
[ CD Album ]

Having previously reviewed two CDs… of the exceptional Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas, I am finally almost out of superlatives. Everything she performs is presented with impeccable taste: every phrase and nuance has seemingly been well thought about before committing to disc or the concert platform.

Steve Marsh
CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE
[ England ]
Terruño
[ CD Album ]

To play the guitar like this you must deeply love the instrument and have strong empathy for the chosen programme; not just because it is topical, fashionable or "commercially correct" but because it permeates the soul and quickens the heartbeat.

Zane Turner
GUITAR INTERNATIONAL
[ USA ]
Terruño
[ CD Album ]

Terruño, the latest recording by Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas is fresh, exciting, and truly an amazing recording. The music on Terruño proves to be some of the most expressive and idiomatic guitar music in the repertoire and creates invocative dream-like soundscapes which are enhanced by Rojas"s delicate, dynamic, and passionate performances.

Brad Conroy
Modern Guitar Magazine
[ USA ]
Cielo Abierto
[ CD Album ]

This is a fascinating disc, impeccably and inventively performed and one which all lovers of guitar music should own.

Steve Marsh
CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE
[ England ]
Cielo Abierto
[ CD Album ]

Only once in a great while does a classical guitar CD come along which is so impeccable in every aspect of professionalism -heart- touching musical artistry, interesting repertoire, and excellent technical production. Paraguayan Guitarist Berta Rojas' "Cielo Abierto" is one of these.

Jim McCutcheon
SOUNDBOARD
[ USA ]
Concierto Latinoamericano
[ CD Album ]

This excellent Paraguayan guitarist kicks off her realistically engineered recital with tangy waltzes by Venezuelan Antonio Lauro (1917-86). Delights follow thick and fast, including an exquisite Villa-Lobos Choro Tipico No 1 and a characterful quartet of pieces by Agustín Barrios (1885-1944) as well as two Piazzolla tangos (arranged by Baltazar Benitez). On this showing, Berta Rojas is a class act.

GRAMOPHONE
[ England ]
Concierto Latinoamericano
[ CD Album ]

A tasteful round of pieces by major Latin American composers! Rojas, shows her fine tone and good sense of phrasing in the first three pieces by the Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro. A new addition to the repertory is an arrangement of Jobim's Luiza by the Brazilian guitarist and composer Daniel Wolff. Rojas demonstrates her cantabile style in this love song. Her clean playing in the demanding Las Abejas, coupled with three other seldom heard pieces by the Paraguayan Agustín Barrios again add to this fresh collection.

Lily Afshar
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
[ USA ]
Concierto Latinoamericano
[ CD Album ]

Berta Rojas' collection of Latin American guitar music is worth seeking out. The works are strong, warm, and personal-traits they share with her playing. Her bold touch coaxes a lovely, plummy tone from her instrument... 'Flight of the lovers through the valley of echoes' is particularly vivid and makes about as much use of the dynamic range available to the guitarist as any piece I've ever heard.

Stereophile
[ USA ]
Concierto Latinoamericano
[ CD Album ]

This CD is delightful and surprises us with the performer's artistic profundity, perfect technique, and intelligent selection of pieces...the offered selection highlights characteristic moments of the Latin American nationalism, rescuing folk rhythms with a charm melodic vein that matches perfectly with the exceptional phrasing ability of this concert artist.

Washington Roldán
EL PAÍS
[ URUGUAY ]
NCO, Berta Rojas celebrate Rodrigo’s Centenary with Classy Concerto

From the moment the guitar opened the piece without orchestral introduction, Rojas demonstrated unflagging control. In the tantalizing solo cadenzas, her long fingers glided over frets and fingerboard, in and out of dissonant chords that implied ethereal connections…

The Gazette
[ USA ]
Berta Rojas and the National Chamber Orchestra.

Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas joined with the National Orchestra for Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez". Conductor Piotr Gajewski guided his players effective as partners in dialogue with the soloist or to provide a colorful Iberian soundscape supporting Rojas… She explored the entire realm of guitar language with versatile agility.

The Washington Post
[ USA ]

Rojas strummed the characteristic Iberian rhythms with a graceful reserve in the outer movements, and tugged upon the heart strings in the famous, melancholic Adagio, the melody nicely echoed in the cor anglais.

Michael Dungan
The Irish Times
[ Ireland ]
National Concert Hall, Dublin

Rojas is renowned for the elegance of her playing - her hand glides effortlessly over the fretboard as if brushing a piece of silk. Her Aranjuez was an enrapturing experience (and not just its adagio) that was complemented by the firm yet sensitive playing of the RTE NSO under Robert Houlihan.

Dick O'Riordan
The Post
[ Ireland ]
Paraguay According to Agustín Barrios
[ DVD ]

The average guitar DVD is pretty static. The player sits in front of the camera. Neither of them moving very much. The occasional close-up interests those who want to study hand and finger movements, but the general public is likely to turn away from it in total boredom. This DVD is not like that. For a star, the star is the Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas, who adorns a landscape of scenic beauty, with Paraguayan forest, mountains and waterfalls, without seeming out of place. It is visually captivating, and the camera moves a lot. There is a fair amount of imagination at work too.

Colin Cooper
Classical Guitar Magazine
[ England ]

Reviews

All Recordings Solo Orchestra