*AWARD WINNER* Almanova 'Classic Giuliani' CRITIC'S CHOICE, 2008 American Record Guide Review of Almanova's 'Classic Giuliani' -American Record Guide by K. Keaton In May/June I reviewed a similar program by a Danish violin-guitar duo, Kim Sjorgen and Lars Hannibal. I responded warmly to that performance, but this one is even better. I was prepared not to like this, a self-release of a pair of young players with little information about the music or performers. I had to go to their website to get the last names, beyond Almer and Jessica (come on, folks, the world needs adults). But I thoroughly enjoyed these performances. Though the scores do say 'for flute or violin and guitar', I think the music works better on flute than violin. Certainly there are no double stops or specialized bowings that might be idiomastic for violin but impossible on flute. Actually, any melody instrument can do these, but the parts seem especially right for flute. These are really elegant, tasteful performances. Pierce is a fine player with a lovely sound and a great sense of balance with her partner. She phrases subtly and beautifully and really understands this style. Imamovic is a fluid, somewhat understated player, but a solid partner who never seems to struggle. Another advantage to this recording is that the program does not include the frankly odd set of variations played by Sjorgen and Hannibal, but does include the Grand Duo Concertant, Opus 85. That is not as virtuosic or imaginative as the Gran Duetto Concertante, but it is quite lovely and has a ravishing melodic slow movement. Almanova's Giuliani is some of the best I've heard. © K. Keaton AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE Review of Almanova's 'Classic Giuliani' by James Scott, Minor 7th Almanova's second release, 'Classical Guiliani,' offers masterful interpretations of the late Italian guitar virtuoso's enduring work. Almanova is an innovative duo consisting of American flutist Jessica Pierce and Bosnian guitarist Almer Imamovic. Both musicians are classically trained and faithfully perform Guiliani's cannon with both grace and passion. Jessica Pierce's virtuosic flute is prominently featured throughout this recording. Her rich, warm intonation draws the listener deeper into each composition. Imamovic's supportive pianistic approach is also noteworthy, providing an excellent backdrop for his partner's melodic cadenzas. The guitarist also creates intricate rhythmic patterns and dazzling solo flights demonstrating a solid fluency on his instrument. Together the two eloquently produce impeccable performances of classical music which are sure to please even the most discerning listeners of this genre. © James Scott, Minor 7th 'Almanova's Giuliani is some of the best I've heard.' -AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE "Flautist Jessica Pierce produces a most beautiful clear and pure tone, has impeccable intonation, and an idiomatic and stylish way of ornamenting the melodies" -Pan - The Flute Magazine (The Journal of the British Flute Society) U.K "Imamovic wowed his listeners with an ageless virtuosity" -Glendale News Press Glendale, USA 'Excellent technique and virtuosity' -Oslobodjenje Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina "Imamovic's cadenzas were virtuosic masterpieces" -Oakwood Register Dayton, USA 'American flutist, Jessica Pierce gave a ravishing performance at Nice's historic Cloitre de Nice' -Nice Matin Nice, France 'Mr. Imamovic left audiences stunned with his 10 magic fingers!' -La Perche Mamers, France.