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Sharon Isbin - 5 Classic Albums / WCRB: CD Of the Week

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Very rarely does one find a musician as decorated and acclaimed as guitarist Sharon Isbin. Her several Grammy Awards and leadership of the Guitar Department at The Julliard School – which she founded – are just the most obvious markers of a career that has propelled her to the front rank of her profession.

More interesting than her résumé bullet-points, though, is the musical trajectory of that career, much of which is captured in a five-disc set simply titled Sharon Isbin. Isbin's performances are faithful and transcendent, evoking an almost otherworldly allure. In fact, some of them were presented to cosmonauts at the Mir Space Station in 1995, literally transcending this world.

In this collection, Isbin guides us through works by twenty-eight composers, ranging from Bach to South American folksong writers. They include interpretations of some of the most popular works for her instrument, like Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, as well as newly composed masterworks, like Christopher Rouse's Concerto de Gaudi. The variety of textures ranges from solo guitar to full orchestral guitar concertos, adding up to create a testament to Isbin's flexibility and mastery of classical guitar repertoire in all genres, old and new.  Sharon Isbin - 5 Classic Albums / WCRB: Boston - CD Of the Week