Monday, June 1, 2009

Guitarist Denis Sung-Hô's CD of Leo Brouwer's 'Concerto Elegiaco' & 'Tres Danzas Concertantes'

[Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at; Fuga Libera FUG524 (2007) ]

“Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)
Elegiaco (1986) [22:23] 
Tres Danzas Concertante (1958) [12:05]
Quintet for guitar and string quartet (1957, 1980s) [16:23] 
Denis Sung-Hô (guitar) 
Chapelle Musicale de Tournai/Philippe Gérard 
Quatuor Alfama 
rec. May 2006, Tournai, Athénée Jules Bara, Chapelle. DDD
FUGA LIBERA FUG524 [51:14]”

Brouwer has freshened our expectations of the classical guitar. While not rejecting the work of Rodrigo he has revived the genre with dissonant draughts that permeate recognisable moods and manners. Hispanic coolness and passion are still present but the progress and structure of ideas is achieved through suggestion rather than direct statement. The Concerto Elegiaco is his third guitar concerto. It was written for the BBC and premiered by Julian Bream with the Langham Chamber Orchestra. In 1987 Bream and Brouwer recorded the piece with the RCA Victor Chamber Orchestra. The music is poised, rhythmically challenging and constantly in motion around subtle and beautiful tendrils of melody. On a very simplistic level you might describe this as Rodrigo filtered through Berg.

The Three Concertante Dances for string orchestra and guitar are more direct in expression with the elements of Iberian courtly passion we recognise from Rodrigo being engaged but they are mixed with a Stravinskian delicacy: sometimes steely, sometimes yielding.” “Lastly we hear guitar juxtaposed with string quartet. This Quintet, begun at age 18, was not completed until the composer was encouraged to do so by Italian guitarist Oscar Ghiglia who gave the premiere in Florence.” “The slow central movement is a jewel and the standout track in the whole CD.” “A refreshing take on received wisdoms about the Latin-American classical guitar."
Rob Barnett

“The Fuga Libera label was launched in the spring of 2004. It is placed under the artistic direction of the Belgian musicologist Michel Stockhem."  [The CD is widely distributed and sells for as little as $12.94 on]

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