"a highly accomplished niche performer" Classical Guitar Magazine
" a guitarist with a fantastic command over his instrument" De Volkskrant
Classical Guitar Magazine, 4/2006:
“… the work of a highly accomplished niche performer. Born 35 years ago in the Dutch Antilles, Cicilia is an erstwhile student of Eliot Fisk, hence the almost nostalgic revival of Sequenza XI. Elsewhere. Cicilia offers a daunting yet ultimately engaging range of textures, in which the rumbling ostinato at the start of Florian Magnus Maier's splendidly titled Crystal Vermin (for amplified classical guitar) proves particularly memorable. Maier also leaves a favourable impression in the Toccata (for amplified classical guitar with delay). the use of electronics against a relatively conventional musical backdrop emerging as a refreshingly listener friendly combination. Throughout the proceedings. Cicilia emerges as a master of his instrument who undoubtedly could have fielded a standard Bach/Sor/Albeniz agenda had he wished to do so. There was a time when dodgy guitarists would hide their incompetence behind a camouflage of impenetrable new repertoire, and I do have a specific individual in mind when I say this. But those days are mercifully long gone. with a new generation of dedicated specialists such as Diangelo Cicilia flying the flag.
An uncompromising release that does credit to all concerned…”
www.sa-cd.net, July 24, 2006:
"This is, perhaps, the most approachable disc of contemporary music that I have heard (without it being in danger of being considered bland enough for mood music). Diangelo Cicilia is clearly a very talented artist who is deeply committed to modern compositions (he commissioned all but the Berio - his teacher was the dedicatee, so he listened to something in the lessons!)
The disc opens with Jo Sporck's The Sandman which features a pre-recorded performance on the second guitar (heard in multi-channel from behind, as is the composers intention, which really elucidates the competing structural elements) as well as the "live" first guitar (heard in front in multi-channel). Starting with the second guitar, a dialogue ensues that sees the first guitars figurations become ever more complex and lengthy before a coming together of material at the end.
Following this is Raam 82 by Frank Crijns which exploits the wide range of tone colours that an acoustic guitar can produce over a period of eight minutes. A lesser player would have made this sound fragmentary but Cicilia convinces the listener that this is a genuine whole; it is reminiscent stylistically of Schoenberg's miniatures for piano.
Crystal Vermin by Florian Magnus Maier is written for an amplified classical guitar which extends the range of sound that was highlighted in Raam 82. The piece starts life as a toccata which gradually peters out before a nagging motif is developed. It is as though the toccata is being examined in ever greater detail before the telescope pulls out towards the end for the return of the toccata-like subject.
Paul Goodman's Call is an experimentalist and the structure of the piece is ambiguous, with a lot left to the performer to decide. For example, the number of repeats and whether certain sections are omitted are up to the guitarist. As commissioner, Cicilia has been credited as "co-composer" because of all of the interpretative choices that are at his disposal. This will be, for many, the weakest piece on the disc due to the purposefully fragmentary structure which, despite the excellent technique on display, will appear to lack cohesion.
The last of the new "Dutch" music (the Dutch part is mainly by association with the Netherlands rather than birth) is from Maier - his Toccata for amplified guitar and stereo delay. As mentioned in the customarily detailed notes, the delay is set so that there is a delay of one second (heard in the left-rear) followed by a further delay (right-rear) of the main guitar's music (in front, which again gives the multi-channel mix a compelling advantage over the stereo "rival"). Unlike Goodman's concept - this pays off marvelously and is an enjoyable listen.
For an encore, we are treated to Berio's Sequenza XI - by far the lengthiest composition here. This opens very flamboyantly, with a Spanish accent, before experimenting outrageously with the potential textures that a guitar can produce. From quasi Bartok pizzicato's to re-tuning the whole instrument in the middle, this piece simply demands to be heard.
The recording is as clear as one could wish, with all the strings resonating richly when allowed. Harmonic effects are captured well and, as alluded to above, very imaginative and sensible choices have been made for the multi-channel layer.
Highly recommended for guitar fans and for those wanting to dip their toes into uncharted territory..."
www.classicstoday.com, October 3rd, 2006:
"As an experiment, I listened to this recital's opening work via conventional two-channel playback, and got no sense of a live guitarist interacting with a prerecorded guitar. Instead, I heard lyrical, non-eventful lines interspersed with percussive tapping, and not much else. Switching to SACD mode, the pre-recorded guitar in the rear speakers provides more palpable spatial contrast to the live performer in front, and suddenly the music's modest conversational game-plan makes sense.
Frank Crijns' Raam #2 encompasses impressive textural variety in the form of dissonant chordal flourishes, silences, and repeated notes that morph into bass ostinatos. I'm not sure if looping technology enters into Crystal Vermin's amplified specifications, yet the complex interplay between the opening section's steady, rumbling bass lines, high harmonics, and bluesy chords suggests at least two guitarists at work. The music comes to a full stop, followed by a section devoted to repeated chords that break out into fleet, flamenco-like filigree lines. It's clear throughout that Florian Magnus Maier uses amplification mainly to manipulate sonority and tone color, but rarely to enhance volume for the sake of loudness.
In the same composer's Toccata, digital delay helps create a rich, almost orchestral canvas of rhythmic interaction and harmonic collusions. Both of Maier's pieces bustle with invention and refuse to sit still. By contrast, yards of breathing room absorb the delicate repeated-note patterns and shimmering arpeggios in Paul Goodman's Call, despite my sense that the piece goes on a bit too long for what it expresses.
Guitarist Diangelo Cicilia appears to make the best possible case for these new works. His effortless, fluid technique encompasses an astonishing command of rapid dynamic changes and articulations. His complete mastery of Luciano Berio's difficult Sequenza XI (the non-Dutch "bonus" track) easily holds its own with other recorded versions. (...) If you're into new guitar music, you'll certainly want to investigate this release."
De Volkskrant, 4 september 2000
“At one of the concerts with Solo Pieces at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, especially the piece Christal Vermin by the German Composer Florian Mayer stood out, this was certainly also due to Diangelo Cicilia, a guitarist with fantastic command over his instrument”.
Frits van der Waa.
www.musicweb.uk.net, Sept 4 2000
“Most satisfying was a guitar solo by Florian Mayer Christal Vermin which was given with winning conviction by Diangelo Cicilia.”
Revieuw Brabands Dagblad, October 25 2006
Cultural Exchange Program Hirado, October 2004
Solo Concert Fort Kerk, Curacao Netherlands Antiles, March 18 2002
Solo Concert Schoenberg Zaal, Mai 26 2000