Piano Music for Two Guitars [TrackList follows] – Arabesque Duo (Kathrin Murray & Troy King) – Centaur CRC 3194, 59:57 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Complete Music for Two Guitars [TrackList follows] – Duo Pace Poli Cappelli (Andrea Pace & Christiano Poli Cappelli) – Brilliant Classics 94833 (2 CDs), 65:27, 54:10 – [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
The first of these CDs is an interesting ploy—transcriptions for two guitars of works originally for piano by composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One gets a new perspective on the music, different angles at which to appreciate the originals. All but Brahms here were basically nationalistic composers, and the Grieg work uses some of his music from a cantata for the Norwegian playwright Ludvig Holberg, but certainly sounds Norwegian. The two Spanish composers fit their nation’s readily identifiable sound, and Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 fits the unique French musical language. The composer described it as “a fantasy of the senses.”
The two Brahms pieces are intermezzi, and describe his sorrow over the deaths of both his sister and a longtime female friend. The five movements of the Turina transcription have the overall title Cinco danzas gitanas. The Granados Spanish Dances are “Orientale” and “Villanesca.”
I personally enjoy listening to any two-similar-instrument recordings such as these in my car, since I am frequently moving around when listening on my living room system. Two-guitar and two-piano seem to work the best.
GRIEG: Holberg Suite; BRAHMS: 2 Intermezzi, Op. 117; TURINA: Cinco danzar gitanas, Op. 55; GRANADOS: Danzas espanolas, Op. 37; DEBUSSY: Arabesque No. 1
Florentine composer Castelnuomo-Tedesco wrote his works for two guitars between 1961 and 1968. The primary work here is his Les guitares bien tempérées Op. 199—a cycle of 24 preludes and fugues which follow one another in intervals of a fifth and alternate between minor and major keys. He uses popular themes, snippets of Chopin and Beethoven, Italian folk dances and literary quotes. He also makes light use of counterpoint. The 24 Preludes are followed on this disc by the Fuga elegiaca, which the performing duo feels makes a perfect conclusion to the 24 Preludes and Fugues in its original key of G minor, because it is also a prelude and fugue and the 24 Preludes start off in G minor. Castelnuovo-Tedesco dedicated all his two-guitar works to the duo of Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya.
The discs also include the Sonatina canonica, which in 1961 was the first work the composer created for two guitars. The composer separates the two instruments—as he does in all his two-guitar works—by having one in a medium-high range and the other in a medium-low range. Typically Hispanic themes are used, along with the canon form. The work is in three movements.
Disc 1 =Les guitares bien temperees (The Well-Tempered Guitars): Preludes and Fugues, Op. 199 1. Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in G Minor 04:50 2. Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in D Major 03:57 3. Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in A Minor 04:57 4. Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in E Major 04:36 5. Prelude and Fugue No. 5 in B Minor 04:43 6. Prelude and Fugue No. 6 in F-Sharp Major 03:21 7. Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in C-Sharp Minor 05:11 8. Prelude and Fugue No. 8 in A-Flat Major 04:32 9. Prelude and Fugue No. 9 in E-Flat Minor 05:28 10. Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in B-Flat Major 04:34 11. Prelude and Fugue No. 11 in F Minor 06:49 12. Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in C Major 03:03 13. Prelude and Fugue No. 13 in G Major 04:38 14. Prelude and Fugue No. 14 in D Minor 04:41 Disc 2 = 1. Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in A Major 03:41 2. Prelude and Fugue No. 16 in E Minor 03:40 3. Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in B Major 03:07 4. Prelude and Fugue No. 18 in F-Sharp Minor 04:39 5. Prelude and Fugue No. 19 in C-Sharp Major 03:36 6. Prelude and Fugue No. 20 in G-Sharp Minor 03:21 7. Prelude and Fugue No. 21 in E-Flat Major 04:24 8. Prelude and Fugue No. 22 in B-Flat Minor 04:15 9. Prelude and Fugue No. 23 in F Major 03:05 10. Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in C Minor 05:20 11. Fuga elegiaca 04:41 Sonatina canonica, Op. 196 = 12. I. Mosso, grazioso e leggero 03:26 13. II. Tempo di Siciliane 03:57 14. III. Fandango en Rondeau 02:52
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