Laureate Series - Guitar
Koyunbaba Op.19 (1985) Carlo Domeniconi (b. 1947)
The ltalian-born guitarist-composer Carlo Domeniconi has written many concertos, chamber and solo works for the guitar. Since 1969 he has lived in Berlin but from 1977-1980 he taught at the Conservatory of Music in Istanbul, an experience that has had a lasting effect on his work; the influence of Turkish music in many of his later compositions is strong. Koyunbaba 5 one such work. The title can be interpreted in two ways; first as "shepherd" (Koyun = sheep, baba = father) or secondly as the name of a thirteenth-century holy man who lived in South-west Turkey, an area that now bears his name. The two are brought together in Domeniconi's concept, that a shepherd is uniquely given both the time and insight to contemplate and understand the vastness and immense power of Nature. The area of Koyunbaba, with its spectacular and contrasting land- and seascape, 5 particularly conducive to such profound thoughts, mirrored in the eponymous music. Each of the four movements develops a separate mood in the hypnotic fashion of eastern music and on a time-scale that reflects the unhurried life of both shepherd and mystic, using a wide range of the guitar's available devices and textures.
Invocaciòn y Danza Joaquin Rodrigo (b. 1901)
lt remains mysterious as to why Rodrigo should have floated a work on the unpredictable waters of a competition, more than two decades after the première of his Concierto de Aranjuez, but he was justified; the Invocaciòn y Danza won First Prize in the French Radio and Television Competition in 1961 and was first performed in the following year by its dedicatee, the Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz. Thereafter it took some time to establish itself in the concert repertory, owing to the unplayability of the original score; though different guitarists have adapted it in various ways, it remains a peculiarly difficult work both to play and to interpret. The piece is in homage to Manuel de Falla, to whom Rodrigo has often declared his indebtedness, and it makes direct but fleeting reference to two of his works: Noches en los jard/nes de Espaha and EI amor brujo. The brooding mysticism and pleading of the Invocation gives way to the energy of the Dance, in the form of the polo, a folk dance-song in syncopated triple time. lt is Falla who has the final quiet word.
Suite Compostelana (1962) Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
Federico Mompou, a Spanish pianist-composer, was mainly self-taught. He Iived for most of his lite in Paris, where he was greatly influenced by Satie and Debussy. The bulk of his compositional output consisted of piano miniatures and vocal music, both of which elements have a bearing on the Su/te Compostelana, his only work for the guitar. The Suite pays tribute to the Spanish cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela, where for many years Andrés Segovia held his annual summer school. The Prelude is largely based on continuously moving ines, beginning and ending with clear and simple tonality but passing through remoter regions en route. The Coral (chorale), in four-part chords, recalls Bachs many works in the genre, though not in its harmonization, and pays its respects to the cathedral. The gentle rocking of the Cuna (cradle-song), expressed with charming simplicity, gives way in the middle to a chordal interlude with 'folkloric overtones - the 'song itself? The Recitativo is in fact a dialogue in which one voice is insistent and masculine, whilst the other Is playful and femmine. Mompou had the gift of melody and never forgot its importance; this Is evident in the plaintive Canc/én, where the song Is overlaid with open fourths and fifths, folk-Iike in effect but not in origin. Santiago de Compostela is at the heart of the region of Galicia, from which the Muhe/ra, a fiery folk-dance comes.
Un Sueño en la Floresta Agustin Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944)
Barrios was a Paraguayan guitarist and composer, performed widely in South America and Europe, but his career was, like that of several distinguished others, overshadowed by that of Andrés Segovia. He was the first guitarist to make recordings, the earliest of which date from before World War I, and the first to play an entire suite of Bach. lt was not until the 1970s that more than a few of his many compositions became known. Sueffo en la Floresta (Dream in the Magic Garden) Is a spell-binding exercise in tremolo, utterly idiomatic to the guitar, as are all Barrios works.
EI Decameròn negro Leo Brouwer (b.1939)
Leo Brouwer, a Cuban and a multi-talented musical polymath, places a high value on the quality of imaginafion in composition, and in this work he certainly demonstrates that belief. EI Decamerén negro is inspired by three ballads on African stories, cotlected in Black Africa at the beginning of the present century by the anthropologist and writer Leo Frobenius. The fitte is ctearty borrowed from Boccaccio, whose Decameron was the first-ever collection of fictionat sfories. Brouwer says of the work: "The main story is about a great warrior who wants fo be a musician. Expetted from his tribe and separafed from his toved one, he wanders in the mountains. When the fribe began fo tose every battte they begged him fo fight with them again. He won every war and fhen returned fo the mountains with his ove'. So vividty does the music ittustrate the text, fhat a blow-by-blow account would be necessary onty fo those who entirety Iack the imagination thaf Brouwer prizes. The tast movement contains the most tenderty tyricat metody in any of Brouwer's works.
John W. Duarte, 1997
John W. Duarte, 1997
The following people have in one way or another contributed their magic, inspiration, faith, love, tolerance, suppor4 knowledge and friendship. I would Iike to thank each and every one of them: My parents, Angeliki and Konstantinos, and my brother Nicholas. Without them I would not have come this far. My teachers Evangelos and Lisa, John MiIIs, Sharon Isbin and Oscar Gighlia. My fabulous producers Bonnie and Norbert Kraft, my dear friend and guide Manolis Lianandonakis, NAXOS, the GFA board, Kostas Konstsandinidis, Natel Matschulat, Annaliese Soros and Alexandra Kalin for their faith and support. Kevin R. Gallagher (without his inspiration, love and support this project would have been a Iot harder), Megan Dodds my spiritual sister, Tali Roth (for friendship and support). My friends all over the wodd... and you who read these notes right now and are willlng fo share my music.