Classical guitar students are brought up playing the music of Francisco Tárrega, especially his 15 preludes, which are delightful miniatures: charming, relaxing, wistful. These are not large scale works - the shortest clocks in at just over half a minute, the longest at two minutes - but each has a very individual character.

It's Tárrega's centenary next year, and it's hard to find all the preludes together in one place, so it was nice to receive a copy of American guitarist Edward Trybek's "Images of Spain" this week containing them. The CD is produced and sold independently by Trybek - no record label involved - and contains an hour of fairly eclectic set of his "favourite pieces from the Spanish repertoire".

I also particularly enjoyed the renaissance pieces written originally for the vihuela, a guitar precursor: two fantasies by Luis Milan, and Luis Narvaez's "Veintidós differencias de Conde Claros": twenty-two variations in a courtly style very characteristic of the period.

As well as these harder-to-find pieces, Trybek includes some very standard repertoire, including Rodrigo's ferociously difficult Tres Piezas Españolas, and two of the best-known and most recorded pieces: Tárrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra, and Asturias (Leyenda) by Albéniz. For these, there's not much to offer when compared to recordings by some very illustrious competition, and although Trybek is clearly in complete technical command of the material, he's badly let down by some indifferent recording quality, particularly on the tremolo pieces where the balance between low and high strings just doesn't work. And if you're a purist, the Rodrigo performances stray some way from the dynamics and accenting marked in the music.

So if you're looking for a complete set of the Tárrega, or if you are seduced by the charm of the renaissance pieces, the CD is a fine addition to your collection - but I'd have liked to see more of this less frequently played material and less of the standard pieces, for which classical guitar listeners are likely to already have better recordings in one of the many collections of Spanish guitar music by the major artists and labels.

The CD is available, to US visitors at least, from Trybek's website

David Karlin 21st October 2008