Meng's debut solo recording MENG (music by J.S.Bach, William Walton, John Williams, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Francesco Tarrega), released in July, 2016, have received great reviews:
From ClevelandClassical.com: Link
From The Baltimore Sun:
This disc makes a sterling calling card for Meng Su, the Chinese-born classical guitarist who came to Baltimore to study with the eminent Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory. Su's command of the instrument is everywhere apparent, whether charging into the bravura moments of a sonata by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco or exploring the subtleties of William Walton's Five Bagatelles.
Su's flair for communicative phrasing also commands attention. She plays a Bach Suite with wonderful nuance, and brings a particularly sensitive touch to a darkly beautiful theme from John Williams' "Munich" film score.
From American Record Guide, Jan/Feb Issue:
A recording like this makes me want to gather Florestan, Eusebuis, and Master Raro, and just say “Hats off, gentlemen, a genius.” Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I am excited about the level of artistry of many emerging guitarists. Surely, I get plenty of discs not ready for the national stage and even decline to review many that would just get a panning. But nearly every issue I find someone who really merits praise. Meng Su stands out among those as one of the very best.
First, the program is amazing—three huge masterworks, each of which would be enough to supply weight to the program; and each is performed beautifully, as fine as any, despite the heavy competition. What make her playing so special is her control of sound—every note is important, every sound is shaped with love and exquisite taste. It’s not just her tone—it’s also her dynamics, articulation, the transparency or density of the sound, the attention to the functions of multiple voices.
I’ve heard the Castelnuovo-Tedesco in a dozen or more performances, and I’ve played and taught the Bach and the Walton. Meng Su made each seem like I was hearing them for the first time—and that the music was inexpressively beautiful. There is virtuosity, but never for its own sake. These are not the fastest performances of the works you’ll hear, but they are among the most beautiful. She even throws in a couple of Tarrega’s salon pieces, but treats them like great music. Listen to her breathless beginning of the tacky little ‘Gran Vals’, a subtle crescendo sung like a simple but exquisite Schubert song, and you’ll realize that the piece isn’t tacky at all.
The performance is bracketed by works by John Williams—the film score composer, not the guitarist. ‘Avener’s Theme’ is a touching melody arranged from the score to the film Munich, lovingly played. ‘Rounds’ is his first work for solo guitar, first recorded by Pablo Villegas (N/D 2015 in Collections)—it’s a dark work, but it’s beautiful and moving, and Su performs it even better than Villegas.
Meng Su is from Quingdao, China, and has performed with Yameng Wang as the Beijing Guitar Duo since 2009, earning rave reviews. In 2013 the duo joined the venerable Manuel Barrueco (their teacher at Peabody) and have performed as a trio—see China West reviewed above. She only launched her solo career in 2015 after winning the Christopher Parkening Competition. But in any combination she is a sublime artist, and I wish her well in what will surely be a great career.