JOAQUIN CLERCH: Concierto De Otono (Autumn Concerto) for flute and string orch.; Concerto de Caceres for guitar and orch. – Anette Malburg, flute/ Joaquin Clerch, guitar/ Orq. de Camara de la Habana/ Thomas Gabrisch – MDG Scene multichannel SACD & 2+2+2 903 1742-6, 52:23 [Distr. by E1] *****:
The Cuban guitarist-composer Joaquin Clerch is among the leading guitarist of his generation. He studied guitar with Leo Brouwer. He won a prize in Salzberg in 1991 for extraordinary artistic achievement. Since 1999 he has been professor of guitar at the Robert Schumann University in Dusseldorf. Anette Maiburg is a leading German flutist; the Concierto de Otono has the flute carrying the first movement in its highest registers. In the third movement Cuban folk themes are transformed a la Kafka and Stravinsky. Clerch’s idea to composer the work originated from his work with Maiburg as a flute and guitar duo.
The guitar concerto was written for a guitar festival in the City of Caceres. Clerch had a difficult time writing the last movement of the work, but he said “life brought a smile back to his face,” and he did a short third movement which has a theme which is a combinartion of the cries heard in the Havana Carnival, plus the Jota de Caceres theme. This is one of the most interesting guitar concertos I’ve heard all year.
Mack Avenue Records releases a re-mastered vinyl of a Christian McBride duet album.