La Guitarra Filipina
- Featured: Angelito Agcaoili
- Release Date: 9/21/2004
ANGELITO AGCAOILI studied guitar under the tutelage of Mario Rodriguez at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, with Jose Luis Rodrigo at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Madrid, Spain and in the U.S. with Elliot Frank at East Carolina University and Frank Koonce at Arizona State University. He has also participated as a performer in the workshops and master classes conducted by world renown guitarists such as Leo Brouwer, Jose Tomas, John Williams and David Russell. A prize winner in guitar competitions in the Philippines (1st prize at the Concurso de Guitarra del Centro Cultural de España en Manila and 3rd prize and Honorable Mention at the National Music Competitions for Young Artists), Angelito Agcaoili has also been the recipient of several scholarship awards including grants from the Spanish government through the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional and from the Young Artists Foundation of the Philippines. As a pedagogue, he has been on the faculty of the University of Santo Tomas, Santa Isabel College and St. Scholastica's College (all in the Philippines). He has also served as a teaching assistant at East Carolina University and at Arizona State University and currently teaches at Arcadia Music Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. His work and research on the guitar music of the Philippines has been steadily gaining recognition. He has premiered the guitar works of Filipino composers such as Angel Peña, Bayani de Leon, Lucrecia Kasilag, Antonio Pahang and Jose Valdez. His close collaborations with Angel Peña and Bayani de Leon produced many important guitar works from these two major Filipino composers. Mr. Agcaoili has been featured in solo and chamber music recitals in the Philippines, Spain, Canada and the United States of America. 'Angelito performed with a complete musical understanding and technical control which brought out the delicately beautiful and powerfully majestic attributes of his concert selections.' - Scott Anderson, In Tune- Arizona Classical Guitar Society 'Angelito Agcaoili, a national treasure when it comes to classical guitar playing, played to an awe-struck audience last night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Little Theater.' - The Philippine Daily Inquirer ' Mr. Agcaoili's performance was clean, spirited, and inspired, a culmination of his conviction for the music of his country and the years which he dedicated to research and being an exponent of the music.' - Raul Jose, In Tune- Arizona Classical Guitar Society Reviews on La Guitarra Filipina: The CD shows off the versatility of the composers and the fine performance of Angelito Agcaoili... this makes for a very interesting 56 minutes of new music that is never too astringent. Chris Dumigan, Classical Guitar (UK), February 2008 These compositions demonstrate the excellent quality of guitar music by Filipino composers.' Gendai Guitar, January 2007 No. 508 La Guitarra Filipina: Angelito Agcaoili, guitar Works by: Aguilar, Alcoy, Custodio, Dadap, Leon, Kasilag, Valdez (2002) It is seldom that I come across a recording as fresh and surprising as this one. Here is a recording of music that is entirely new to me, and of very high quality also. Every track on the CD save one (17 out of 18) is a premier recording of a work by a Filipino composer. Most of the composers represent the current generation of writers for the guitar, but there are also two born early in the twentieth century whose works are heard here. In style, the compositions are generally conservative and extend from arrangements of traditional Filipino folk songs to abstract works that are tonal but somewhat exploratory. There is a Spanish influence at work in some of the pieces, not surprising considering the strong presence the Spanish culture has had in the islands. Some of the compositions (the Visayan Seranades of Michael Dadap, for example) borrow heavily from folk music styles from various islands of the country. The most compelling compositions were those of Bayani de Leon. His Kapilas Na Giting is a very powerful work, despite it's brevity. It has a modal sound reminiscent of some of the works of Alexander Tansman, and is propelled by a relentless energy. I also enjoyed the the two pieces by Lucrecia Kasilag. Her Prelude Etnika and Toccata had an Asian air about them, especially the prelude, with it's use of the pentatonic scale. Jose Valdez' Himig bilang 4 is a charming, wistful piece with a melancholy melody. Angelito Agcaoili's performances of the pieces on this CD are straightforward and presented with a pleasant tone and a clear sense of phrasing. He is obviously strongly committed to the repertoire, and this commitment is evident throughout the disc. There is no information as to whether the music played here is published or not, but I would hope that it is available, since much of it is very good. This is a laudable project and a very enjoyable CD. James Reid GFA Soundboard Magazine Vol. XXX, No. 1, 2004.
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