Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Solo Guitar' CD of Guy West Features John Dowland, J.S. Bach, Mauro Giuliani, Leo Brouwer & Guy West

[Guy West: Solo Guitar (2011)

On August 11, 2011 AfriClassical posted: “Classical/Flamenco Guitarist Guy West Releases Debut CD: 'Solo Guitar.'” We have since obtained a copy of the CD, and we find it eminently enjoyable. The disc has been released by the performer. The program begins with a version of John Dowland's Lachrimae Pavan (4:57). The liner notes by the guitarist cite an entry in as authority for each of the works except the final one, which he wrote.

The liner notes begin: “Recognized as the greatest English composer of lute music and among the best of the Renaissance lutenists, John Dowland was responsible for writing one of the most popular pieces of the 17th century – Lachrimae Pavan.” “Lachrimae typifies the uniqueness of Dowland's dance music by showing a shift 'from functional dance music to abstract instrumental music.' It also utilizes a substantial amount of counterpoint rarely found in pavans of his precursors...”

Johann Sebastian Bach is represented on the disc by his Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a (19:43): “Primarily an organist, the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 200 works for guitar solo as well as with other instruments. Among his vast body of instrumental compositions, only seven of the lute works survive. BWV 1006a [19:43] was probably written during the late 1730s and was Bach's arrangement of the E major violin partita (BWV 1006).”

“Italian born guitarist, Mauro Giuliani, composed over 200 works for guitar solo as well as with other instruments.” “Opus 7 [7:42], pub. 1827, is based on the theme of the final movement of Handel's fifth harpsichord suite and is known as The Harmonious Blacksmith.” “Supposedly, the blacksmith's rhythmical hammering motivated Handel to compose the piece.”

“Leo Brouwer is another rare genius who is a master composer, guitarist and conductor.” “Elogio de la Danza [5:07] (1964) is one of Brouwer's most significant pieces of his avant-garde period. It is comprised of two movements – Lento and Obstinato – and was intended to accompany dance choreographed by Luis Trapaga.”

“Originating in Andalucia (southern Spain) solea [4:35] is a type of cante jondo, or deep/profound flamenco song. Much of the song's content is poignant and filled with dismay and irony.” “As a guitar solo, the solea conveys this same kind of emotion, aided by the use of rubato (subtly increasing or decreasing the tempo) and by its harmonic structure generally being built on the somber sounding phrygian mode.” Disclosure: A review copy of this CD was provided by the performer.

No comments: