BRAD RICHTER; "A Whisper in the Desert" (Acoustic Music)***

"A Whisper in the Desert," Brad Richter's most recent CD, contains new material along with a few pieces from previous albums. The selections show Richter as an innovative composer, who writes music with substance, style and appeal, which can be appreciated on several different levels.

As a guitarist, he is no less talented. His virtuosity and refined musicality are in the tradition of guitar greats Julian Bream and John Williams.

Most of the music on this album has been inspired by nature, from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona ("A Whisper in the Desert") to harvest time in Oklahoma ("The Harvest").

The other pieces are the evocative "Four Native Tales," based on Native American stories and myths; the eerie "Three Little Nightmares," for prepared guitar; the luminous "Elation," and the captivating pair "Flirtation" and "Angular Tango."

Rounding out the album is Richter's set of variations on Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More."

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