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.
—John Sunier