The magic and mystery of Mexico make a welcome return on this recording, as the expert skills of Gérard Abiton explore Manuel Ponces complete works for guitar. There is a wealth of treasures to be enjoyed here, as Ponces vast career led him to explore a number of different styles. His time in Paris exerted a French influence on his music, heard in the wonderfully lyrical song-without-words motif in the second movement of his Sonata III. The folklike passage that follows it, alongside a daring counter-melody, are brought together in a joyous conclusion in the Sonatas last movement, cleverly evoking a popular theme. But it is in the Tres Canciones populares mexicanas that the listener is musically transported to Central America, and Ponces beloved homeland. The composers tender nature is beautifully expressed in these three lyrical works, as, along with the Scherzino mexicano, he strives to create a testament to his Mexican roots. Gérard Abiton, an exceptional and talented French guitarist (Guitare Classique), is a magnificent performer of Ponces works. His elegant rendition succeeds in convincingly expressing the composers tender emotion, paying homage to Ponces diverse influences and never straying far from his cherished Mexican origins. Described as one of the best guitarists in the world (Liberation) and a leading light in the profession (Le pays), Abitons understanding of Ponce has led him to be regularly invited to play his works in Mexico. Joined by harpsichordist Beatrice Martin, whose assured touch is the perfect accompaniment to the Concierto del Sur and Sonata for guitar and harpsichord, as well as Jean Thorels professional conducting, this CD is sure to delight fans of guitar music looking to relax and unwind. Other information: Sung Contains notes on the composer and the works. Contains biographies on each of the artists.