Format: CD / super jewel case / 8 pages booklet
Artist: Daniele Lazzari, classical guitar
Label: Da Vinci Classics
CD price: 16 € – worldwide shipping, priority mail included
Track List – Total Time: 79’28”
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 – 1959)
[1-5] Cinq Préludes (1940) 21’46”
Federico Moreno Torroba (1891 – 1982)
[6-8] Sonatina (1924) 13’48”
Agustín Barrios (1885 – 1944)
[9-11] La Catedral (1921) 8’26”
 Vals en Sol (1923) 4’23”
Manuel María Ponce (1882 – 1948)
[13-34] Variations sur “Folia de España” et Fugue (1929) 31’05”
The period between 1920 and 1940 was particularly important for the guitar repertoire. Composers were interested in timbre and expressive possibilities of the guitar. Some of them absolutely did not know the guitar technique and the right way of writing for this particular instrument. These noble minds created the base of the modern repertoire and technique of classical guitar.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (Rio de Janeiro, 1887 – 1959) was a very innovative and prolific composer. He is considered the most important exponent of Brazilian musical nationalism. The Cinq Préludes (1940) are one of the masterwork for solo guitar of the composer. They have an impressionistic language: Villa-Lobos uses the guitar not just as a lyrical instrument, but also as a dramatic one indeed. They are dedicated to his wife Mindinha and are known with their programmatic subtitles:
1. Lyric melody. Homage to the Brazilian sertanejo – 2. Capadocia and capoeira melody. Homage to the Carioca hustler – 3. Homage to Bach – 4. Homage to the Brazilian Indian – 5. Homage to social life. To the young teenagers who frequent Rio’s concerts and theaters.
Federico Moreno Torroba (Madrid, 1891 – 1982), zarzuela (the Spanish light Opera) and symphonic composer, was influenced by the Russian music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Mussorgsky, by the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel and by Igor Stravinsky. Torroba was the first composer, at the beginning of 20th century, who answered with enthusiasm the request of Spanish guitarist and friend Andrés Segovia to create a new repertoire for classical guitar.
In the Sonatina (1924), the folklore and the orchestral technique, typical of the Torroba style, are evident and admirably brought on the six guitar strings. The rhythmic vivacity typical of popular music combined with the rare, almost ethereal delicacy of the second movement of the composition, have made it as one of the most successful and loved works by the Madrid composer.
Agustín Barrios (San Juan Bautista de las Misiones, 1885 – San Salvador, 1944), Paraguayan, played and wrote only for the guitar.
He had as example the great European baroque and romantic masters but also established a strong link with the Latin American culture, producing music of various styles, always keeping great and original inspiration.
The legend says that La Catedral (1921) was inspired by the visit in the Cathedral of San José in Uruguay where an organist was playing Bach. The Prelude Saudade was added later in 1938. This piece, full of symbolism, ideally describes the various levels of a cathedral and ideally, the passage from the celestial to the terrestrial. The Vals en Sol (1923), full of grace and rhythmically intense, is one of the best examples of the reference to European romantic music in his production. The elegance of the phrasing, but also the idiomatic use of the instrument such as the campanella effect of the central section, show both the perfect compositional technique and the deep knowledge of the expressive peculiarities of the guitar.
Manuel María Ponce (Fresnillo, 1882 – Ciudad de México, 1948) today is considered one of the greatest Mexican composers. Bound by a close friendship with Andrés Segovia, he composed numerous guitar works, including six Sonatas, 24 Preludes and the Concierto del Sur for guitar and orchestra which have become fundamental parts of the modern repertoire of classical guitar.
During his travel in Paris in the 1920s, where he studied composition with Paul Dukas, he started to compose with a polyphonic and impressionistic style using concise musical forms.
This is the case of the Variations sur “Folia de España” et Fugue (1929) which represents one of the guitar masterpieces of the 20th century. The twenty variations on the Folia theme (one of the most exploited theme in history of music) affectively use all the expressive and polyphonic possibilities of the guitar known until then, although in a completely revisited and modern way. The twenty-first variation uses the melodic line of the theme and is rightly considered separate for its proportions of a musical form itself. It is a three-part Fugue of austere character and has an incisive conclusion which magnificently seals the monumental cycle.
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