Impression from latin america View full size

Impression from latin america

Lucio Dosso

- 2010

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12,99 €

This program consists of an anthology of pages taken from the Latin-American guitar repertoire, whether originals or transcriptions.

Leo Brouwer, born in Havana in 1939, is considered one of the most important composers of guitar music of the twentieth century. The three compositions herein belong to his first period in which he upheld the influences of Cuban popular music, but already gave signs of possessing a strong personality. Proof is the Pièce sans titre, where the melodic element, while recalling the local tradition, is shaped in a very personal style, with an imitative treatment of the reasons that reveals the hand of a composer already formed, though still young. It is also noted in the passage, the originality of the rhythmic component and its special accentuation. In the other two tracks included in this program, Leo Brouwer appears instead as a transcriber for Cuban guitar songs, not popular, but author’ songs - although, in the culture of the island, the separation between what is popular and what is cultured is very tenuous. Ojos brujos (Eyes sorcerers) is in fact a melody composed by Gonzalo Roig (La Habana, 1890 -1970), author of symphonies and zarzuelas while the Ninna Nanna which follows was composed by a pianist and singer of popular music, Eliseo Grenet (La Habana, 1893 - 1950), and is titled, originally, Drume negrita. In both pieces, the transcription of Brouwer allows the melody flowing easily, and its comments are a complete and well-punctuated harmony, so pleasant as to suggest that the pieces were written for guitar.

The Venezuelan Merengue is a dance by an anonymous author, harmonized and arranged for guitar by Alirio Diaz, the great performer who has done extensive research in the folk tradition of his country. The rhythm is the predominant form in this piece, and is characterized by alternating between measures of 2 / 4 and measures 5 / 8, that occur irregularly. The character of the music is lively and festive, and the rich instrumental design created by Alirio Diaz, who chose the key of D major with the sixth string in D, adds a full effect of sound, with dense and original harmonies.

Jorge Gómez Crespo (Buenos Aires, 1900-1971) was one of the most complete guitarist-composers in his country and in Latin America, because, besides being a talented performer, he acquired musical preparation as a composer. It is remarkable that Andres Segovia, light years away from the music written by guitarists in the twentieth century, included in its programs and recorded in a disc one of the most beautiful music of the Argentinean maestro, who was also a close personal friend. He called him "the finest guitar sensibility in South America." This composition is also part of this program. It is called Norteña, and is a slow and melancholic song permeated by the typical mood of the Argentinean style, captured by Julián Aguirre (the greatest composer of his country in those days) in the elegies for piano entitled Tristes. In fact, there is an obvious similarity between the piece for guitar by Gómez Crespo and the Triste No 4 by Aguirre.

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) is world famous as the king of the tango. His music, based on local tradition, has developed a universal language, turning itself much more varied and complex than the tango, while maintaining and even accentuating the drama of music contents. Piazzolla studied in Paris with the great composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, who encouraged him to continue his search for a new path in tango. His ensemble music is generally based on a sound where the essential component is the bandoneon, an instrument of which Piazzolla was an excellent master. He also composed a series of original pieces for guitar, entitled Cinco Piezas, but guitarists frequently perform transcriptions of pieces he wrote for his band. This is the case of the composition recorded on this CD, Verano Porteño. In Italian, the title means Estate a Buenos Aires (Summer in Buenos Aires). It is part of a course entitled Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, which Piazzolla composed in 1960 for the play Melenita de Oro, by Alberto Rodriguez Muñoz. It is a song that conveys the anxiety typical of Piazzolla's sensuality. In it, we can find elements also present in one of the Cinco Piezas for guitar.

Manuel María Ponce (1882-1948) was one of the founders of the National School of Mexico. With his composition studies in Europe, he wanted to align himself with a style in which indigenous elements combined with the European influences, which he drew on respectfully, but without giving up his tradition. In 1923, he attended a concert of Andres Segovia in Mexico City. They met, and since then Ponce began to write for guitar, accepting the demands of the great guitarist, who gave him instruction on the songs he wanted from him. Among the earliest pieces he prepared for Segovia, there are some folk songs, for which he had created versions for voice and piano, and then reintroduced with a new look for the guitar. La Valentina is a popular song of the Mexican Revolution, and also La Pajarera is a popular melody, elaborated by the author for guitar. Por ti mi corazón is instead a lyric for voice and piano originally composed by the same Ponce, and then remaked for Segovia. Lejos de ti is another Ponce lyric for voice and piano, for which the composer also wrote the poem, but the transcription for guitar is not his work, was done by the interpreter of this CD. The Scherzino Messicano is one of the short pieces that Ponce composed for piano, and was transcribed by Mexican guitarist Manuel Lopez Ramos. In all these little pieces the melodic element predominates, and the style of the composer is still noticeable in the perfection of the harmonies.

Vicente Emilio Sojo (1887-1974) was one of the founders of the national school in Venezuela. In addition to the composer, he was also a teacher and an educator in the highest sense of the term. He had among his pupils Antonio Lauro, the greatest Venezuelan guitarist-composer of the twentieth century. Alirio Diaz successfully transcribed five pieces for guitar recorded in this program. It is hard to say what, in these works, comes from the folk tradition and what is instead the result of the individual creativity of the artist, so well blended is the melodic and harmonious tissue. The masterful guitar construction is clear, however, and fully reveals both the lyrical aspects - such as the beautiful initial Cantico - and those of the dance - a strong presence in the final Galerón.

Agustín Barrios (1885-1944), Paraguay, was the greatest Latin-American guitarist-composer of the last century. For a certain period of his career, he wanted to be called Mangoré to honor the memory of a leader of the Guarani tribe that had opposed the settlement. His compositions for guitar reflect the popular tradition of his country but also his assimilation of the style of European composers, from Bach to Chopin. The influence of the latter is evident in the piece presented in this program, the Vals op. 8 n. 3 in D minor, a brilliant composition, but also full of poetic inspiration, which represents the genius of the master of Asuncion at its highest level.

Antonio Lauro (1917-1986) was the greatest Venezuelan guitarist-composer in the twentieth century. His education was complete: he was a guitar virtuoso and also a well prepared composer and he was able to write not only for his instrument, but also for the orchestra. He is famous all over the world thanks also to the inspired interpretations given by Alirio Diaz - his friend and associate in art - of his Venezuelan Waltzes and characteristic pieces. The Suite venezolana in this program is one of the most important Lauro compositions, because it goes beyond the limit of the miniature and appears like a broader and more complex musical organism. The Registro is a kind of harp prelude, imaginative as an improvisation. The Danza negra is a primitivist song, based on the composed rhythm, but not without some melodic idea. The Canción is, as the title says, a melody, but also shows considerable harmonic subtleties. The Vals does not finish the Suite in a magnificent way, but with a refined grace. In practice, this Suite stands happily halfway between the short pieces and the broad works of Lauro, for example the Sonata. It is a perfect balance that allows you to appreciate the composer in all his spontaneous imagination and in the full maturity of his style.

Luigi Biscaldi
(trad.: Linda Mercuri)


Label: LIRA CLASSICA - Catalog: N° LR CD 125 - Executive production by Massimo Monti,Musicisti Associati Produzioni M.A.P. - Distribution M.A.P. - Year of production 2010


Tracks list CD:
01.  Piece sans titre n.1 (L.Brouwer ) - 1’39’’
02.  Ojos brujos (L.Brouwer) - 1’47’’
03.  Berceuse ( L.Brouwer) - 3’30’’
04.  Traditional Merengue - 1’42’’
05.  Norteña (G. Crespo) - 3’54’’
06.  Verano porteño (A. Piazzolla) - 5’24’’
07.  Tres Canciones Populares Mexicanas: n. 1 La valentina   (M.M. Ponce) - 1’15’’
08.  Tres Canciones Populares Mexicanas: n. 2 Por ti mi Corazon  (M.M. Ponce) - 3’11’’
09.  Tres Canciones Populares Mexicanas: n. 3 La Pajarera (M.M. Ponce) - 1’43’’
10.  Lejos de Ti (M.M. Ponce) - 2’55’’
11.  Scherzino mexicano (M.M. Ponce) - 2’55’’
12.  Five Pieces from Venezuela: n. 1 Cantico (V.E. Sojo) -  1’18’’
13.  Five Pieces from Venezuela: n. 2 Aguinaldo (V.E. Sojo) - 1’02’’
14.  Five Pieces from Venezuela: n. 3 Canciòn (V.E. Sojo) - 1’42’’
15.  Five Pieces from Venezuela: n. 4 Aire venezolano (V.E.  Sojo) - 0’59’’
16.  Five Pieces from Venezuela: n. 5 Galeròn (V.E.  Sojo) - 0’55’’
17.  Vals - Op. 8 n. 3 (A. Barrios) - 5’28’’
18.  Suite Venezolana: n. 1 Registro (A.Lauro) - 1’38’’
19.  Suite Venezolana: n. 2  Danza negra (A.Lauro) - 3’40’’
20.  Suite Venezolana: n. 3  Canciòn (A.Lauro) - 4’16’’
21.  Suite Venezolana: n. 4 Vals (A.Lauro) - 3’10’’