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  »  New  Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”..  About those Spaniards…...  Musical Discussions  Forum     1  16363  06-19-2004
09-17-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 8297
Reply to: 8297
1st Guitar Thread
I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but I have since my childhood enjoyed both classical and Flamenco guitar, and I have more guitar LPs than I do violin, almost as many as piano.

Of course not all guitar playing is equal, and I rarely listen to about 1/2 of the LPs that I bought out of curiosity.  I have many Segovia albums., and plenty of them are so-so.  I was fortunate to hear Segovia live on several occasions, and I never missed a guitar perfromance at Royce Hall, UCLA, before, during or after my tenure at that non-august Univ., when I lived in Venice.  I was also at pains to catch all the Julian Bream and John Williams I could, even though I never really cared for either of them, for the most part.

I mention JB and JW now because tonight I heard on the truck radio a new-to-me duet by JB and JW playing Debussey's "Spanish Images".  Somehow, each man rose to the occasion of playing with the other, and the result was certainly inspired, if not spectacular.

I agree with Romy that a little effort goes a long way.  I mostly think of these guys as lacking a pulse between them, but here they are using their technical expertise to musical advantage.  Very nice.

Despite the fact that there was the typical-for-San Diego 10 minute intro/background for a 4 minute piece, still I did not get if this recording is available on LP or CD.  If either, I will buy it and listen again, ASSAP.

Paul S
03-28-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Fugue


Davis, CA
Posts 8
Joined on 03-27-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 10109
Reply to: 8297
Another Guitar Fan
fiogf49gjkf0d
I've played classical guitar for nearly 30 years now, so obviously I'm a huge fan (or quite the masochist!). Paul Galbraith recently played in La Jolla--did you attend his concert? Today, the world is filled with so many amazing guitarists that are perhaps not household names: Marcin Dylla, Jorge Caballero, Artyom Dervoed, Antonio de Innocentis, Remi Boucher--they all bear your attention!


"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." -Victor Hugo
03-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 10124
Reply to: 10109
I am Jaded (or...)
fiogf49gjkf0d
Sorry to say, I have heard few guitar recitals in San Diego, and it's been many years since I heard anything I really got Class A-1 enthused about.  Guitar is SO hard to master, after all.  So few ever get to the highest level of technical ability, and still fewer have the ineffable gift to interpret, potentiate and release great music.  IMO, even the greats cannot and do not simply do this at will.  I hear about some phenom or another once in a while, and then when I finally hear for myself, I am not especially taken with it.  People hit all the notes, but it does not transcend.

But how can there be so few great guitarists at this time?  I must be missing something!  I keep getting the feeling that things are passing me by, and I HATE that feeling!  I am certainly open to new artists, always ready to hear great music.  However, I admit being rather lackadaisical in my "search", and I am both cheap and cynical about current ticket prices.

How did I get so far out of the loop?  Probably lots of reasons.  Here is a small example:  People I talk to all seem to love  and love to cite Paco de Lucia, and there seems to be a general trend to think of him as the greatest Flamenco guitarist, ever.  I'm sorry, but nothing I've heard from him has struck me that way yet.  OTOH, I absolutely love a lot of "Manitas de Plata" (Ricardo Billardo), and most of the "purists" think he is a bad joke.

Can we agree on Yepes?

I also enjoy without thinking about it things by Leo Kottke and John Fahey, whom we are not allowed to discuss around here.

Best regards,
Paul S
03-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Fugue


Davis, CA
Posts 8
Joined on 03-27-2009

Post #: 4
Post ID: 10125
Reply to: 10124
Hmmm...
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, I think there are a lot of "greats" out there, but so many are also rather robotic--they play to perfection, but there is precious little passion. It's almost like listening to a MIDI file!

Sorry, but Yepes is one of my least favorite players! He strikes me as cold and mechanical, plus his technique is nowhere near the younger virtuosi of today.

I've heard of Kottke and Fahey, but their style doesn't do much for me.


"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." -Victor Hugo
03-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 10126
Reply to: 10125
A pair of guitars and the Mahler orchestras…
fiogf49gjkf0d

Fugue,

obviously your expertise in guitar world is involved. I never cherished guitar specifically and know little about it.  There is a guy arond here from AU, Peter Foster – he post here sometimes – if I am not mistaken he ether owns guitar shop/studio or somewhere very near to it.

I have two questions to ask you if you do not mind.

I am for years a big admirer of Stefano Grondona plays Llobet and Tarrega. Stefano plays Antonio De Torress instrument from 1885 with glorious wet and damp Mediterranean tone. That opening for “Capricho Arabe” is truly orgasmatic! Is it considered from your point of view the “contemporary play”? My question derived purely based from my ignorance and I would like to understand what you are talking about.

Can you suggest any composition and perhaps performances where a guitar duet or perhaps guitar trio play along with an orchestra? I think the 2-3 guitars are incredible powerful expressive tool in right hands and with right orchestration. It is shame that I never heard people write concerts for 2-3 guitars. Well, let it be not the Mahler orchestra but perhabs the Mozart orchestra… Perhaps they do exist, I just do not know about them… BTW, why shall it not to be the Mahler orchestra?

Rgs, the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 10127
Reply to: 10125
"Technique"
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, it is, indeed, mostly "technique" that I hear from the modern guitarists, and I have presumed that this is mostly because the instrument is so difficult to play, and the great music for guitar pushes players to their physical limits.  I can understand how someone could approach guitar like a "challenge", and how playing the great repertoire could become an "accomplishment".

I also appreciate that many consider Yepes "simple" and/or "mechanical", and I agree that he falls into this on plenty of his recorded fare.  But I also hear from him on occasion that rare quality of playing "just well enough", with his odd sort of "timing", that he disappears into a piece, and this is for me the ultimate experience of music, that I find especially rare and gratifying with guitar.  Basically, "better technique" for me becomes ultimately a matter of musical gestalt.

Kottke and Fahey are hardly "serious", after all, which is one reason they are verboten here.

BTW, nice looking rosette on your avatar...

Best regards,
Paul S
03-30-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Fugue


Davis, CA
Posts 8
Joined on 03-27-2009

Post #: 7
Post ID: 10139
Reply to: 10126
Duos/Trios
fiogf49gjkf0d
Rgs,

Rodrigo has written some nice multi-guitar concerti, especially Concierto de Madrigal for two guitars. A rare LP by the Abreu Brothers is worth searching for--it contains a mind-blowing concerto by Guido Santorsola and a nice, but less awe-inspiring concerto by Castlenuovo-Tedesco.

Grondona is one of my favorites. By today's standards, he is a romantic player, but I prefer that to the cold automotons of today! Check out his video of pieces by Froberger and Frank Martin--amazing!


"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." -Victor Hugo
03-30-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Fugue


Davis, CA
Posts 8
Joined on 03-27-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 10140
Reply to: 10127
Rosette
fiogf49gjkf0d
Paul, 

Thanks. My guitar is made by Peter Oberg in San Diego. I had a little Photoshop fun to give it a surreal edge!

Oh yes, today's super-virtuosi sail through pieces that Segovia could not imagine! A few manage to couple expression with jaw-dropping technique.


"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." -Victor Hugo
04-12-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 10220
Reply to: 10126
With Orchestra
fiogf49gjkf0d
Juaquin Rodrigo wrote two (too) often-played works for guitar and orchestra, the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Fantasia para Gentilhombre.  The music itself may not be to everyone's taste, but IMO the works are well rendered by Narcisco Yepes with the Orquesta Sinfonica RTA, Odon Alonso, conductor.  DGG stereo, 139 440.  Recording is OK, except highs get typical-for-DGG steely unless VTA is well attended to.

Obviously, the guitar has certain limitations that do not ingratiate the instrument to a full orchestra, and IMO these limitations ultimately sink most attempts to pull it off.  But here, the work itself and Yepes both make the most of the "vested" instrument, and the conductor and orchestra are also spot-on for the pairing.

Paul S
04-12-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 10221
Reply to: 10220
The de Aranjuez and Yepes.
fiogf49gjkf0d
If you like the de Aranjuez and Yepes (and I do like Yepes) then try these.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=65

Yepes records it much time with different orchestras. I heard 2 or 3 versions but I do not think I heard with Odon Alonso. The quality of recording with National Orchestra of Spain is VERY high. The second movement is absolute killer.

Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 10226
Reply to: 10221
Sketches of Spain, redux
fiogf49gjkf0d
At the risk of gushing, these works strike me as positively rife with "Spanish Sensibility", and much of it stirs me the same way as the great 20th Century Spanish literature, from Lorca, onwards, yet it is still rooted - like olives, grapes and cypress - deeply into Cervantes, etc.  And of all nations, Spain seems to truly relate its identity through the guitar.

Jazz lovers will immediately recognize the Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez as music adapted by Gil Evans and Miles Davis for the all-time great jazz album, Sketches of Spain.

Best regards,
Paul S

05-11-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 10495
Reply to: 10221
Youthful Enthusiasm
fiogf49gjkf0d
I have meant for some time to add that I also have a version of the earlier work (Yepes/National Orchestra of Spain/Ataulfo Argenta) on London ffrr, on the album "Music of Spain", CS 6046.

This is a nice contrast, to hear the more-youthful Yepes, with all his sincere expression and artistry so apparent, with Argenta's well-turned direction; so polished.

I like both versions a lot; but today I would settle on the later, perhaps more "mature", rendering.  The later perspective is somewhat more distant, and the emotions and artistry are correspondingly subtler.  In fact, some listeners might just miss that part.


Paul S



There are certain delicious sensations that are no less intense for being vague  --  Charles Baudelaire
05-11-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 10499
Reply to: 10126
Well, even though I do not like….
fiogf49gjkf0d
…how this Xuefei Yang played and I do not like how the orchestra played but you cannot deny that the way in which the whole presentation of the performance organized is just wonderful. Those people at Proms do know how to organize shows...




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-12-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 10503
Reply to: 10499
It's Intrumental
fiogf49gjkf0d
I am not a recording historian, so I can't say as a matter of fact, but I think one big difference between the 1947 (London) Yepes and the (post 1970) DGG Yepes is the guitar.

Never mind about the "absolute superiority" of the "balanced" 10-string concept that Yepes claimed for the instrument.  In my naive world it is simply that the (10-string) guitar Yepes got from Ramirez is obviously "better" than his old one (wherever it came from, and however many strings it had).  Let's face it, even the best makers have better and comparitively "worse" instruments, and the best players use the best instruments to put their performances out of reach of the pretenders and the hopefuls, alike.

Conversly, the poor girl that Romy has just shared must use a plastic guitar; and I have nothing positive to say about that English horn (or whatever it was...), either; not to mention that both of these musicians can just about "play" the score - and no more - and you have the stuff of the usual sub-par "guitar and orchestra" snoozer.

On the other hand, give them a "G" for "Guts", and God Bless anyone who listens beyond the first 20 bars.

Point of Interest for non-native Americans: since They don't allow booze at the Prom, everyone typically arrives drunk.

Best regards,
Paul S
05-12-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 10505
Reply to: 10503
Wow, I did not know it!
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
Point of Interest for non-native Americans: since They don't allow booze at the Prom, everyone typically arrives drunk.
That is great comment that explains so much about how sound at Pops. It always puzzled me why in some instances able to sound seriously orchestras convert themselves into cheap pop-band while they play at BBC Promenade Concerts. I never was there but from what I learned it looks like it is “stand and moive you ass” type of auditorium. 

BBC_Proms.jpg

So, no wonder that people going there high.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  »  New  Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”..  About those Spaniards…...  Musical Discussions  Forum     1  16363  06-19-2004
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