The theme of guitarist Milan Bátor’s second album is the legendary The Beatles in instrumental arrangements for solo guitar, written by Italian guitarist Mario Gangi. The album, entitled I Beatles, will be launched in the Löw-Beer Villa in Brno.
“Mastering The Beatles’ songs on solo guitar was the challenge of a lifetime. I’ve loved the band since I was a kid. Gangi spiced up his arrangements with jazz harmonies, yet maintained respect for the originals. It was as if his guitar was singing,” said Bátor. The road leading to the making of the record was not easy. “At first I had no idea that Gangi had actually written any Beatles arrangements. His daughter Susanna drew my attention to them by chance; she photographed the now unavailable score and sent it to me. I instantly fell in love with it. Later, she revealed to me that the score was enthusiastically authorised by members of The Beatles themselves,” Bátor said of the genesis of his album, which is being released in the year of the centenary of Gangi’s birth.
Mario Gangi (1923-2010) is considered one of the most respected guitarists of the 20th century. He was one of the first classical performers to play jazz, folk and various types of fusion. His universal creative and interpretive style remains inspiring and fresh today and has a worldwide following. The album title I Beatles is inspired by Gangi’s original publication of the same name.
Bátor performs eighteen songs by The Beatles on the recording. Hits like Hey Jude, Let It Be, Penny Lane and Yesterday are among them. Also included are little-known songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney such as From a Window, which did not appear on any of the band’s albums. The I Beatles recording was made at Czech Radio Ostrava under the direction of sound engineer Marek Hoblík. The original graphics and eye-catching colour illustrations are by Jura Bosák, an artist from Opava, who had already contributed to Milan’s first album with Gangi’s work (Ragtime, 2020). The photographs were taken by Ostrava artist Tomáš Rossi. I Beatles creates a coherent story through its visual and textual synergy. Each song has its own original artistic accompaniment and an erudite commentary describing its origin and giving some interesting facts. The album will be released on 29 September on vinyl and streaming platforms, distributed by the Supraphon music label. The Brno launch will take place on 20 November at 19:00 in the Löw-Beer Villa in Brno.
Milan Bátor was born in Opava. He studied classical guitar at the Ostrava Conservatory under Professor Ondřej Gillig. He has played in rock and cross-genre bands and is a sought-after guitar teacher and publicist. Bátor released his début album Works for Solo Guitar with original compositions by Mario Gangi in 2020. The recording was presented at a concert in Brno’s Villa Tugendhat and received a positive response from listeners and music critics alike. As a renowned music and theatre critic, Bátor generously reflects on music of various genres in national and regional media.