Guitar Recital: Jeffrey McFadden

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Guitar Music


During the second half of the nineteenth century,composers throughout Europe sought to divest themselves of the universalmusical language of Viennese classicism. Composers began to incorporateelements of folk-music and national culture in their compositions. In Spain,Enrique Granados (1867-1916) was a principal exponent of the new nationalism inmusic as is apparent in his Danzas Espaliolas and Goyescas. Inthe Valses Poeticos the Spanish flavour is clearly in evidence, thoughwe also hear echoes of the Viennese waltz of Johann Strauss, who had toured Europewith his orchestra and whose music was probably known to even such an insularcomposer as Granados. Indeed the piece had been foreshadowed earlier in thecentury by Weber in his Aufforderung zum Tanz which, like the Valses Poeticos

has a formal introduction leading to a smoothly connected sequence of waltzesand ends with a coda referring to earlier themes.


Many of Granados' pieces have survived into this centurythrough the labour of guitarists transcribing works from the piano, as is thiscase in this recording. As much as Granados' work has been ignored by modernpianists, with the notable exception of Alicia de LarroCha, the compositions ofthe nineteenth century guitarist Napoleon Coste (1805-1883) have been curiouslyignored by repertoire-hungry guitarists. The Rondeau de Concert recordedhere is just one example of the various extended concert works written by Costefor guitar. A single movement work combining a virtuosic introduction androndo, the piece is similar to the concert overtures, in turn derived from theopera overture, which enjoyed great favour during Coste's productive life. Indeedthe Rondeau de Concert, with its light-hearted melodies and buoyantturns of phrase, betrays the influence of the opera comique in Coste's work.


The music of the Paraguayan guitarist-composer AugustinBarrios (1885-1944) has come to the attention of guitarists through the effortsof such artists as John Williams. The music of Barrios is typical of theacculturation that was present in the works of Latin American composers at theturn of the century. His compositional style shows both the influences ofEuropean Romanticism and of the nationalistic trends that were prevalent inLatin-American music in the latter half of the nineteenth century. His use offorms ranges from European staples such as the mazurka and waltz toSouth-American folk-music such as the Danzas Paraguayas.


Though not as conspicuously programmatic as some of hisother works, La Catedral is said to be based on a personal experience ofthe composer. Though perhaps apocryphal, the story provides a colourfulbackdrop to the piece. Finding solace near a quiet church in the bustling cityof Montevideo, Barrios was inspired to compose the Andante religioso,with its chorale-like textures and plaintive harmonies. The ensuing Allegro solemne

is said to represent his return to the noisy soundscape of the city. The prelude,initially composed as a single movement saudade in tribute to his wife,was later added to the piece.


The German composer Hans Werner Henze (b. 1926) hasincluded the guitar in many of his compositions and has more recently composedextended solo works for the guitar. The brilliant Drei Tentos are takenfrom his Kammermusik 1958, which is scored for tenor, guitar and eightother instruments. , The piece is a setting of a hymn from the eighteenthcentury German poet Holderlin, a contemporary of Schiller. Holderlin's versesare divided into sections and are accompanied by various combinations ofinstruments from the ensemble. The guitar solos serve as instrumental interludesspaced between the verses.


The Drei Tentos contain many elements of Henze'sdiverse compositional traits. The first is somewhat pointillistic in the mannerof Webern. The second, with its driving rhythms, exhibits the influence ofStravinsky and the third demonstrates the composer's penchant for using tonalNeapolitan melodies.


Like Henze, Joaquin Rodrigo (b. 1902) does not play theguitar but has contributed substantially to the repertoire in the twentiethcentury .Most of this music features Rodrigo's characteristic use of Spanishfolk elements, such as the borrowing of dance rhythms and forms. In folk-music,the Fandango is both a fast courtship dance in triple time or less commonly avocal lament. In the first two movements of Tres Piezas Espaiiolas, Rodrigo haspaired the two types by placing a slow Passacaglia with a plaintive melodyafter a spirited and rhythmic Fandango. The Zapateado possesses syncopationsand cross-rhythms which suggest its relation to the foot-stamping patterns offlamenco dancing.


The power of music to invoke human emotions has beenunderstood since early civilization and in fact became the predominant force inmusical thought in the seventeenth century. Music theorists of the High Baroquewent so far as to codify the compositional process, sometimes straining toassign musical gestures and devices to specific emotions in the Doctrine ofAffections. With the five movements of Collectici Intim, the Valencian, VicenteAsencio (1908-1979) has explored this tradition with great subtlety andfinesse. In La Serenor (Serenity) the melody lazily unfolds over asubdued pulsing in the bass. La Joia (Joy) is an energetic dance withpercussive rhythmic figuration. La Calma (Calm) by contrast is expansiveand features an undercurrent of quiet, chime-like harmonics. In La Gaubance

(Delight), the melody undergoes free and continuous development interspersedwith rapid repeated notes and arpeggiated gestures, and from the opening, LaFrisanca (Haste) hurls towards its conclusion driven by a precipitous andinsistent arpeggio pattern.


@ 1996 Michael Bracken / Jeffrey McFadden


Item number 8553401
Barcode 730099440127
Release date 01/01/2000
Category Guitar
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists McFadden, Jeffrey
Composers Mangoré, Agustin Barrios
Granados, Enrique
Henze, Hans Werner
Rodrigo, Joaquin
Mangoré, Agustin Barrios
Granados, Enrique
Henze, Hans Werner
Rodrigo, Joaquin
Coste, Napoleon
Asencio, Vincente
Producers Silver, Bonnie
Silver, Bonnie
Disc: 1
Tres Piezas Espanolas
1 Introduction: Vivace molto
2 Melodico
3 Tempo de Vals lento
4 Allegro humoristico
5 Quasi ad libitum (Sentimental)
6 Vivo
7 Presto
8 Melodico
9 Introduction
10 Allegretto
11 La Serenor
12 La Joia
13 La Calma
14 La Guabanca
15 La Frisanca
16 I. Tranquillamente
17 II. Allegro Rubato
18 III. Cantabile
19 I. Preludio 'Saudade'
20 II. Andante Religioso
21 III. Allegro Solemne
22 I. Fandango
23 II. Passacaglia
24 III. Zapateado
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