09-21-2014 Joahcim Rodrigo wrote several works for the guitar, his primary instrument, but he also gave us concertante pieces of music for flute, harp and multiple guitars. Thid 2 CD sey from DGG presents a nice sampling of his virtuosity and versatility in the concertante repertoire, and there is the rundown. On CD #1, we have the famous Cncierto de Aranjuez, with soloist Narciso Yepes and the Phiharmonia led by Garcia Navarro. The work rubs a leisurely 22:36 and features one of the technically finest Adagios in all disc-dom," and that is saying a lot. With the use of my headphones, because this is very early A.M. listening, I could not detect any, and I mean ANY, errors, slips or signs of a lack of attention to detail. No siree, this disc is as c lean as they come and a bravo for the DGG engineering efforts.
In the runaway hit Con. de Aranjuez, beloved for it's heart wrenchingly beautiful long and haunting Adagio, both missers Navarro and Yepes are perfectly matched as if they were one artistso perfectly atuned to wch other's ideas and thought concerning this little masterpiece for guitar and orchestra. The Adagio's cadenza has to he heard to be believed, so don't take my word for it, but buy you copy today, and isten for yourselves. The soloist's climax is, however, a bit over-ripe and I found it ever so slightly disturbing the delicate balancing act these two had so skillfully constructed. Yet, they do return toi "normalcy" with the highly rhythmic clarity of the concluding "allegro gentile, (5:12). and , hence, all sins are forgiven---L.O.L.
His little work for solo guitar titled Entre Oliveras runs a very brief 5:02 and is miulti facetted piece intended for the dancelike melodies of his more populat r works in the concertante genre, and after only one close listening, I had to admit that not all Rodrigo is as appealing as the two major works on this pair of discount discs running a bargain basement 2 hours 34 plus minutes product. For the most part, this twin set of CD's from Hamburg recording venues.
All of the works on this set were composed after the Concierto de Aranjuez, nd hence show it's influence, either from a stylistic point of view or in terms of an actual quote. The Concierto andaluz for 4 guitatrs is the second major work and I have always found it difficult to differentiate between , say, 2 or 3 guitars, violins flutes or other multiple yet identical instruments. Seeing the music being performed is very helpful, of course, and for the soloists, such as the 4 Romeros, it must be lots of fun doing this work in concert, but simply listening to it is for me, problematic. Still, this concierto gets plenty of attention from Los Romeros as they are famous principally for this 1967 composition. The 9:04 Adagio is a gorgeously rapt work, and the gentle, subtle and very atmospheric piece and tender intensity and flawless technical expertize. I must say, I was impressed and moved by this very lovley music. Honestly, this Adagio is every bit as fine as that other one, the Concierto de aranjusez's. the closing Allegretto is zesty, lively, and wonderfully rhythmic. It has an enquenchable appeal to it, and a charm I found captivating, as I simply had to encore the entire work, composed in 1967 and recorded here in 1968, I believe.
The final piece on CD #1 is the Concierto pastoral for Flute and Orchestra, dating from 1978 and performed here by flautist Patrick Gallois with the Philharmonia under the direction of Ion Martin, a Romanian born Austrian conductor from Bucharest presently 54 years old. His father was a composer, Constanin Marin and that helped oprn dsome door for this young maestro. He has led the London Phil., the Leipzig anf Israel Philharmonics, and now lived in Switzerland, and in his youth was an assistant ot Claudio Abbado. the Concierto runs 23:52 and features some of the composer's best examples of the rising tide of dissonance, especially in the long, multi facerted Adagio of 10:15, which is the cenrtral core of the work, with an uneventful opening Allegro, but is crowned by a lively and handsome Allegretto, much as the one in the Andaluz Concierto for 4 guitars, mentioned earlier. I liked this modern piece even though the fluttering of the solo flute can be a bit much.
The Fantasia for a Gintlehombre was written in 1954 and is, along with it's much more popular comanion the Concierto de Aranjuez. By he time we reach the 1960's and 70's works contained herein, we are gently and judiciously introduced into the modern world of dissonant Rodrigo. The results for me are not too harsh, but rather interesting, and even inviting. I am learning that there is more than Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern and new music, in small controlled doses is, for me, a good idea. There must be something to this new era of music if the leading musicians of the contemporary world pretty much all agree that the afore mentioned composers are that important. It will take time, for I am a truly Classical/Romantic listener.
The Fantasia para un gentilhombre gets a bold, highly melodic and quite warm introduction by Maestro Garcia Navarro, along with the splendid English Chamber orchestra Narcisso Yepes enters with his golden and deliciously rich palette of tonal color, which is what this superb guitarist is known for. My coolness towards the fantasia stems from it's "background music" slant as I have never really appreciated the work as most other listeners have