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Villa-Lobos Giuliani Coste Rodrigo Turina & Koshki[CD]
~ Randy Pile
BIOGRAPHY Born in Crosby, North Dakota, Randy Pile was raised in Northern California where he moved with his family at age 6. His father, Duane, a doctor by trade, was a great musician who, when not on an adventure, divided his time between the piano and clarinet. Randy now resides in La Jolla, California where he is on the music faculty of the University of California. When not on tour he is most likely to be found surfing near his home at Windansea beach. Randy holds degrees in music from U.C. Berkeley and U.C. San Diego. Having spent considerable time studying the music of Joaquín Rodrigo, Dr. Pile was give the opportunity to work closely with the Maestro at his home in Madrid over a period of several years. For his Ph.D. dissertation he wrote A Performer's Guide to the Complete Guitar Works of Joaquin Rodrigo. In addition to his academic accomplishments Randy is a touring artist for the California Arts Council and has received critical acclaim for performances in the United States, Europe, and the South Pacific. Of special interest are his programs from the 'Story of the Guitar' series which include Music of Two Worlds, Visitations and Explorations, and Journey In Time. 'Pile's guitar playing is communicative and sensitive, especially in the pieces by Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos.' The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Scotland NOTES Memoires 'Visitations and Explorations' investigates an imaginary narrative that moves through light and dark regions of the guitar repertoire with little regard for continuous time. Our journey is set into motion by a splendid Viennese overture. We emerge into the harsh daylight of the Andalucian countryside and later join a nighttime procession and fiesta illuminated by torchlight. From there, we venture into Paris where church bells announce our arrival. Departing the Continent to arrive in damp England, we stay for a fortnight at the ominous House of Usher. Following that disaster, we hasten to America, where the oppressive Brazilian jungle provides a backdrop to urbane Rio de Janeiro. Upon our return to Europe, we find that our companion the guitar has undergone a thoroughly modern transformation: absorbing musical currents, our tour of the old and new worlds has become a musical metamorphosis. This sojourn finds us again in Spain, where the contemporary world has embraced folklore and modernism. The triumphant closure is a fitting end to the tour, a summing-up of expressive and dramatic elements into a chord of finality. Overture Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) 1. Grande Ouverture, Op. 61 Wien, May, 1813. Meine liebstes Nanette, I have just returned to the Imperial City and I must tell you that I have never seen a place of such spectacle and beauty. Even Paris must blush when compared to the splendor of this magnificent city. I immediately struck out to visit the shop of Herr Stauffer and was duly impressed by his workshop and numerous assistants scurrying about. It seems that there are more orders for fine guitars to fill than skilled hands to produce them. I showed him my newly acquired English guitar, which he seemed to admire but did not examine in detail. He invited me to hear the great Giuliani, an Italian, who they say plays like the devil and is admired by aristocracy and the music public alike, and who has earned the respect of Herr Moscheles, Herr Hummel, and your friend Herr Beethoven. I was given a good seat in the Redoutensaal, where Herr Guiliani executed a most marvelous composition on his guitar - an Italian instrument I noted. His remarkable projection and accuracy were a miracle, and I maintain that even in Paris, I have not heard such playing. Herr Giuliani was quite amiable after the performance, and we met at his favorite tavern where he proudly displayed the proofs of the composition with which he had thrilled the public that evening - the Grande Ouverture. The composition is an extraordinary evocation of a Rossini overture, and I dare say that I could discern the sections of the orchestra throughout. It commences with a somber slow passage in octaves and develops intensity unheard of in compositions for the guitar. Herr Giuliani informed me that the work was a scherzi, a brilliant joke played on his countryman Maestro Rossini. Signor Giuliani has promised to have his Italian publisher send me a copy the moment it is printed and I await this gift with great anticipation. Send my greetings to your father and tell him that physicians should not bear such lovely daughters. Ich besuche Ihre Familie bald. Pilgrimage Joaquín Rodrigo.....Tres pequeñas piezas (1901-1999) 2. I Ya se van los pastores 3. II Por caminos de Santiago 4. III Pequeña sevillana Malaga, June 7, 1965 Â¡Saludos calurosos de Andalucia! Now that the humidity is descending on us, I stay indoors throughout the entire day and venture outside only when absolutely necessary as my health prevents me from too much activity in this heat. Thankfully, my guitar keeps me company through the stifling weather. I long for the coolness of last spring in Galecia. I never had an opportunity then to describe our pilgrimage to the ancient monastery: women hid their faces behind black lace veils and men and children wore a curious sash. The entire scene was lit only by candlelight and a reverent hush held us completely spellbound - it truly was as if we had stepped back in time. We motored back to town where the men held torches and the crowd sang a Vulgate chant, creating an indescribable effect. Later, a ravishing fiesta ensued in the town square and with the singing, dancing, clapping, and freely flowing wine, we were quite exhausted, although Juanita insisted that we stay up until dawn. In the morning, we took a motor car to the outskirts of the town, where farm workers who had prepared a sumptuous country lunch greeted us. Somehow, I think that Juanita was responsible for this, but remains silent when we query her on this happy coincidence. Last month at the Conservatorio in Madrid, I heard a splendid concert of music of the modern Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. On the program were Quatro Madrigales Amatorios, a piano work entitled Sonatas de Castilla, and three short guitar compositions, which filled me with memories of the magical week in Santiago. I will do my best to find out more concerning this intriguing composer. The pieces somehow seemed both modern and ancient -- dissonant yet plaintive harmonies invoked the rapture of that experience on the peninsula. I have attempted to remember the works on my guitar, but they evade me. I cannot seem to locate the music and I wonder if you could ask Juanita if she might acquire this composer's wonderful pieces for me. Souvenir Napoleon Coste.......Les Cloches, Op. 21 (1806-1883) 5. Fugue 6. Rondeau Paris, Jan. 17, 1853 Mon très estimé Jean, Despite the hardships we are suffering here with the epidemic, the silkworm disease, and the deplorable state of Paris, all are enthusiastic that Louis-Napoleon will bring about an end to the problems that plague our cherished city. My English guitar suffered some minor cracks in the journey from Holland and I will call upon Lacôte to remedy this. I heard a concert at the Conservatoire this week with Monsieur Coste, whom I have not seen since my departure. He, as well as the entire city, is gripped with la fièvre Berlioz. He performed admirably a lovely Nocturne à deux voix avec guitare of that master as well as a handful of original compositions. Sadly, Berlioz is again in London. I avow that Coste has become a major figure in our guitar world, surpassing both his Spanish teacher and Carulli in expression and execution. His skills, as well as his veneration for our Berlioz, have created a language unlike any I have heard before, and wholly French in accent - of course you already know this! I found the Souvenirs dedicated to you to be wonderful and I congratulate you on this honour. My favorite of the set is perhaps the Fugue et Rondeau. Is it true that Coste is hypnotized with musique à l'ancienne? I thought that the fugue was perhaps an hommage to Berlioz but of this I cannot be certain. In any case, the piece is full of sounds imitating the bells of Saint Germain des Prés, is it not? Those very bells woke me from my slumber to write this brief note, which I must post before embarking on today's activities. There is still much work to be done as many boulevards must be rebuilt and the sanitary and water problems seem at times, insurmountable. I shall write again soon informing you of our progress. Puisse votre guitare être en bonne sante. Visitation Nikita Koshkin (b. 1956) 7. Usher ~ Valse (After Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Fall of the House of Usher') London, May 2, 1838 My dearest sister, I know that your ever-gentle heart will break upon hearing that our friend Roderick Usher is no more. I undertook a visit to the Usher mansion in February to witness a most dreadful scene - the once magnificent House of Usher is in total ruin, having fallen into decay and swallowed by the surrounding moat. Yet there is more. According to the townsfolk, both Roderick and Lady Madeline were found dead. In order to learn more, I managed to locate our friend Marco in Belgium. He wrote a lengthy account of the disaster and reported that he had wept many a night over the horrific events during his month-long stay with Roderick and his sister. Since I know your constitution is strong, I will relate to you every detail of that visit. Our Marco had received a distressing letter from Roderick imploring him to visit as his health was waning. He hurriedly departed for the Usher House with the intention of working out the final version of his magnificent nocturne on La derniere pensee of Weber. But listen now, for the astonishing events at the Usher House. Marco had played for him on many nights and I dare say that this constant exposure to his favorite waltz affected his condition adversely. Marco tells me that Roderick improvised a mocking, perverse version of his piece, and that it drove him to unspeakable acts. I learned that Lady Madeline had grown seriously ill and that Roderick and Marco, in a nervous state, having believed she had passed on to the other world, deposited her remains in the family crypt, deep within the house. In his letter, Marco relates that he heard a faint disturbance and witnessed an apparition of Lady M, near suffocation, fall upon Roderick in a final deathly swoon. And so the disaster drew to a close as he fled the mansion in the violent storm that had been forthcoming for days. It overtook the foundations of our cherished House of Usher and caused the entire edifice to collapse upon itself. I trust that the enclosed music from Marco will seal our hearts and speech on this matter from now on. On a final thought, I must say to you that I never imagined that the simplest piece - a waltz of Weber - could have set into motion the chain of events that I have described. Exploration Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) 8. Prelude I 9. Prelude II 10. Chôro No. 1 11. Mazurka Chôro Rio de Janeiro, April 21, 1941 Meu mais caro amigo Mangoré, I hope this letter finds you feeling better. I finally managed to hear the guitarist Segovia perform the Préludes of Villa-Lobos. This has been a dream of mine for a year now and was finally realized at a concert in Montivedeo. Afterward, it was my good fortune (or fate?) to be invited by the Canadian Claude Champagne to a party in honor of Segovia. Rubenstein was there as well, although Villa-Lobos is still in America and seems to be doing spectacularly well there. I was bold enough to ask Segovia what he thought of our national hero and he answered in poor Portuguese that Villa-Lobos was um macaco com um charuto, an unhappy statement. I also inquired an opinion on the Suite Brasilienne and why he did not play it, whereupon Segovia answered that it was beneath him. I am relieved that Claude did not hear these private remarks, as it would have caused no end of embarrassment. Despite all this, I remain totally enamored of Villa-Lobos' guitar music and can think of no other modern composer aside from you that has contributed such a wealth of modern literature for our instrument. My personal favorites of the Préludes are the first and second. I cannot help hearing Villa-Lobos' cello singing throughout the set, and the second Prélude seems to me laconic in it's tone, although there are moments of true beauty. I still delight in the Chôros and in spite of Segovia, find the entire Suite to be filled with lyricism and nobility. The Études are regrettably beyond my abilities, but I know that several Brazilian guitarists play them well - a point that Segovia did not seem to care to hear. At any rate, I look forward to seeing Villa-Lobos conduct again, although I cannot fathom how he handles the baton with that omnipresent cigar. I never sufficiently expressed to you our profound gratitude for what you accomplished during your stay in Brazil so many years ago. Your influence is still being felt and your wonderful music endures in my heart. Enclosed in this letter are copies of the Préludes, which I hope bring you some relief. Todo meu amor para você nesta época da doença. Return Joaquín Turina.......Sonata, Op. 61 (1882-1949) 12. I Allegro 13. II Andante 14. III Allegro Vivo Madrid, July 14, 1932 Querida Maria, Thank you for the gift of wine and dried fruits. My efforts toward the Russian famine relief concert proved to be a moderate success and we were able to raise some money for the Republican-Socialist party as well. I was very delighted to be able to present the concert of only Spanish works for this noble cause. Never mind that some artists still refuse to donate their talents to the party. I found a gifted guitarist to perform the new Sonata of Turina - a remarkable composition - which I managed to acquire from Iturbi. The Sonata is, to my mind, one of Turina's finest works. I discovered a fascinating narrative regarding the piece; please indulge me in describing this charming allegory. A friend of Iturbi's related that the entire work is a magic spell cast by the fuego fatuo (do you remember how Mama used to tell us the story of the Phantom Love?) He flies over the city of Sevilla at twilight, casting an incantation on it's residents. The first movement is ushered in with a dramatic horn call, and cascading scales lead directly into a theme of contained intensity. There is a brief interlude of a tranquil second theme and a return of the first theme transposed up a sixth. The horn call motif makes another appearance before the second theme is reinstated, now up a fifth. This leads into an allegro coda and a rather emphatic ending. I cannot help feeling that the repetition and transposition of the masculine and feminine themes signifies the lovers' heightened emotions. The heart of the piece ensues with the beautiful Andante, which I understand to be an enchanting nocturnal interlude between the lovers. Both the male and female themes are developed here, although the Spectre of Love has intoxicated them. The last movement is a vigorous morning call with the opening horn figure changed to a forceful triple rhythm. A new feminine theme appears, and a recollection of the first movement's feminine theme is summoned, which is all followed by a series of scales and rasgueados that are unmatched in quality. My enthusiasm for this work equals it's own vitality and I cannot express to you the excitement it evokes in me. In the meantime, the famine effort goes on. Mi amor a usted y su familia. Notes by Alexander Dunn Produced & Recorded by Vincent Go Design ~ Matt Santa Cruz Art Work ~ Pamela Santa Cruz.
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