Ida Presti was admired by Django Reinhardt, and together with Alexander Lagoya she formed the foremost guitar duo of all times. This is the world premiere recording of Ida Prestis compositions, a truly momentous achievement by the guitarists Olivier Chassain and Stein-Erik Olsen.
Wunderkind and world fame
Presti made her debut as a guitarist at the early age of 10, both in concert and on record, and was a successful solo artist immediately. The only tuition she ever received she got from her father, who passed away when Ida was only 14 years old. In 1952 Ida and Alexander began their co-existence, both musically and private. Ida’s nature was at the same time moody and profound, dreamy and fiery, playful and melancholic, impassioned and mutinous, with an incarnate and highly spiritual temperament: All traits of personality that are easily heard in her music.
From wonderful improvisations to heartfelt compositions
Very modest on behalf of her own compositional work, Presti herself stated: “I do absolutely not claim to be a composer, simply a guitarist writing for her instrument”. These works grew out of improvisations; in fact she was hesitant of ever writing the music down. When we hear the music today, what strikes us is a rare melodic gift, generously disposed through these 12 character pieces.
Recorded on the instruments of Presti/Laygoya
The Presti family have kept the manuscripts for these compositions unpublished until now. Olivier Chassain and Stein-Erik Olsen are both students of Alexander Lagoya, and it is their painstaking work that has made it possible to bring this music out again. As an important extra bonus, Chassain and Olsen have been allowed to use the fantastic Bouchet guitars, built especially for Presti/Lagoya, when making this recording. Musée de la Musique in Paris hosted the recording sessions.