Iberian & Latin American Guitar Music
- Featured: Jeff Rodrigues
- Release Date: 10/17/2008
Dedicated to the Spanish guitarist Narciso Yepes, Vicente Asencio's epic suite Collectici Intim is the largest and most demanding work from the composer's small yet very substantial contribution to the guitar's repertory. Consisting of five pieces designed to evoke a certain emotion, three of the movements started life first as orchestral pieces. 'La Serenor', 'La Calma' and 'La Gaubanca' were originally known as Dansa Valenciana no.3, no. 4 and no.5, respectively and were first transcribed for the piano by Asencio before the composer again arranged them for guitar adding titles as well some minor changes to the musical content. 'La Joia' and 'La Frisanca' were conceived for the guitar to complete the suite. Heitor Villa-Lobos remains to this day one the most popular and widely played composers on the guitar and deservedly so. A guitarist himself, he pushed it's expressive and idiomatic resources much further than any other guitarist had done up until the early 20th century. His 'Douze Etudes' still sound as refreshing and modern as they did in the late 1920's, when they were completed. The selected etudes on the present recording are from the original 1929 manuscript held in Villa Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Etude. No.5 is a study in perpetual motion and has a hypnotic and restless feel to it. Etude no.8 very French in character while the wonderfully powerful and primal mood of Etude no.11 is thoroughly Brazilian. Portugal's position in the history of music through the centuries in is not as consistent as it's other European neighbours. Having enjoyed a glorious period in the late Renaissance where some of the most gorgeous and sophisticated polyphonic vocal music was composed and later producing some fine keyboard music in the late Baroque period from the likes of Carlos Seixas, musical art sufferd somewhat of a decline throughout the classical/romantic era. However, the 20th century was a period of resurrection in music and many would agree the greatest and most important figure was Fernando Lopes-Graca. A highly prolific composer who wrote numerous works - from solo piano music to symphonic and choral music - he also contributed a small oeuvre to the guitar. However, sadly and undeservedly it is seldom played or recorded. The 'Sonatina' on this recording is a fine example of clear and compact compositional structure as well as being highly suitable and organic to the guitar's nature. Comparable in terms of scale and originality to Rachmainov's brilliant 'Variations on a Theme of Corelli', Manuel M. Ponce's 'Variations sur 'Folia de Espana' et fugue' is still one the largest works ever conceived for the guitar. Dedicated to Andres Segovia, it takes the ever popular compositional technique of the variation form and pushes it to the limit. The theme of 'La Folia' ( a theme of Portuguese origin and not of Spanish, as is often attributed ) has always been popular with guitarist-composers from Sanz & Corbetta to Sor & Giuliani. However, it has never attained the vision and grandeur for the instrument as achieved in Ponce's monumental masterpiece. © Jeff Rodrigues 2008 Born in Canada to Portuguese parents, Jeff Rodrigues studied guitar with renowned guitarists Norbert Kraft and Jeff McFadden and received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto. He studied jazz and flamenco guitar with Rob Bulger and Pepe Haro, respectively, and holds an FRSM in performance. Upon completing his studies, Jeff moved to Europe and has been based in the London since 1998. As well as having given recitals throughout the UK, Jeff has also performed in Canada, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
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