Klassik  Soloinstrument  Gitarre
Eduardo Fernández Guitar Music from South America OC 547 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 547
Release date04/04/2006
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Guastavino, Carlos
  • Mangoré, Agustín Barrios
  • Montaña, Gentil
  • Piazzolla, Astor
  • Rodriguez, G. Matos
  • Tirao, Cacho

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      Description hide

      Cacho Tirao · Agustín Barrios Mangoré · Astor Piazzolla Gentil Montaña · Carlos Gustaviano · Piazzolla / Keigo Fuji G. Matos Rodriguez / Cacho Tirao
      Eduardo Fernández, guitar

      Eduardo Fernández was born in 1952 in Uruguay. His international career began after he won the Andrés-Segovia Competition in Mallorca, Spain in 1975. Today, he is renowned as one of the world’s leading guitarists. Fernández has focused intensively on the study of historic instruments and performs 19th century repertoire on an instrument of that time. On his new CD, Eduardo Fernández reflects the tradition of the guitar in South American art music. Various forms of the tango naturally play a special role here, as with the works of Cacho Tirao or Astor Piazzolla. Gentil Montana, an outstanding guitarist as well, takes the instrument to the limits of its virtuosic capabilities. Among other works, we hear one of Agustín Barrios Mangoré’s most well known pieces, “La Catedral”. Carlos Guastavino combines classic form with Argentine rhythms in his “Sonata para Guitarra”.

      Guitar Music from South America

      To say that the guitar is central to South American culture sounds like a truism, and although it does not apply to every country in the region, the statement has enough truth in it to be a starting point for further considerations. The guitar came to the subcontinent with the Spaniards, and it underwent the same processes as the people did; like a mirror, its music reflected the very diverse musical realities of every country, and it became eventually not only the trusted friend of the popular soul but an ideal vehicle for composers. Heitor Villa-Lobos (absent from this recording) must be mentioned as the first composer from the region to succesfully integrate the instrument into the mainstream of modern music, without losing its particular identity. The South American guitar runs the gamut from folklore quotation, elaboration of folk materials, allusion to them or imaginary folklore, to works where the specific voice of the region is heard without any allusion to folk genres. All these possibilites, and several more, can be heard in this recording. The great folk and tango guitarist from Argentina, Cacho Tirao (b.1941), is present at the opening and the closing of this recording.BR>
      Milonga de Don Taco, an original work, shows off the genre – the word “milonga” is probably derived from the African word “mironga”, which means “mystery”. There are basically two varieties of milonga, the rural one (comparatively slow, serious and a vehicle for singing) and the urban type (fast, humorous and meant for dancing, like this one). “Taco” means “heel” in Spanish, and Don Taco seems to have been a quite famous milonga dancer in Tirao’s native town in the province of Buenos Aires.BR>
      Tirao’s masterful arrangement of Gerardo Matos Rodríguez’s famous La Cumparsita (a work born in Uruguay, as a Carnival march for the students of Architecture, but by now a citizen of the world) turns it into a kind of chaconne, using the very simplicity of the original work as a basis for audacious harmonies and a brilliant ending.BR>
      It was Agustín Barrios Mangoré’s fate to incarnate all the diversity and paradoxes of the region’s musical heritage. He was born in Paraguay in 1885 and died in El Salvador in 1944, passing in between practically through every country of South and Central America. His colourful life would be good material for a novel, and his unique genius gave the guitar an unmistakeably South American voice with a universal message. La Catedral (The Cathedral), of which the first two movements were composed in Montevideo around 1920 is probably his best-known work; here the folk elements are present only as echoes. The first movement was written in Cuba in the late 30’s: the title “Saudade” (the Portuguese word for “nostalgia”) suggests an evocation of the rhythms of the Plate River region – in fact it is not at all far from the milonga genre, something I have tried to underline in the performance. Oral tradition circulating in Montevideo when I was a teenager stated that the second movement depicts the interior of San José’s cathedral (a town near Montevideo), and the third one the noisy surroundings of the church. The little and charming Maxixe is, by way of contrast, almost a photography of this Brazilian dance.BR>
      Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992) does not need any introduction – as a genius musician steeped in tango from an early age and later classically trained under Nadia Boulanger, he has not only a unique place in the history of tango, a genre in which he marked a turning point, but a universal standing. The Five Pieces are his only work for solo guitar, and they show different aspects of the genre, from rural milonga in the first one (Campero) to quintessentialy urban in the last (Compadre – the slang name for a “tough guy” in Buenos Aires and Montevideo dialect). In this version I have introduced (as befits tango playing) a few little riffs and ornamentations to underline the characteristic phrasing and rhythm. Chiquilín de Bachín, a slow waltz, keeps in Keigo Fujii’s beautiful arrangement the melancholy and élan of the original. (Bachín is a famous restaurant in Buenos Aires, and the text refers to a little boy, a chiquilín, selling flowers there).BR>
      The Colombian Gentil Montaña (whose birth date remains a mystery to me, despite a long-standing friendship) is not only a virtuoso, but a very significant composer for guitar; his works explore the rich musical heritage of his native country, taking the instrument to the limits of its possibilities. The Colombian Suite Nº 4 (of which I am honoured to have the dedication as well as this first recording) is a colourful and original reworking of Colombian genres, with all their polyphony, polyrhythmic life, density of voicing and, in a word, life. The Pasillo, a waltz-related dance, has here a nostalgic feeling; it is followed by the sweet Danza and the powerful Bambuco (the latter a typical dance of the Andean region of Colombia). The Porro closes the suite with an explosion of colour.BR>
      Carlos Guastavino (1912–2000) is one of the most representative of the nationalist-post-romantic Argentinian composers. Through all the changes in musical fashion during the 20th century, he stuck to his vision of imaginary folklore, using folk genres merely as the basis for elaboration of large-scale works as well as for his famous songs with piano accompaniment and his many choral works. Curiously, in all his vast production there are comparatively few works for guitar, which probably reflects not so much a lack of interest on Guastavino’s side as the distance that existed, until recently, between “serious” music and guitarists; we have to thank the late Roberto Lara for interesting Guastavino in the guitar. The first of the three Sonatas was written under the impression of the death of his brother, and the second movement (based on the estilo and cifra genres) is an elegy to him. Both the first and third movements make also use of Argentinian rhythms, notably chaya and zamba in the first, and gato in the third. But you don’t need to know the folk materials to be moved and fascinated by Guastavino’s lyricism, harmonic imagination and mastery of form. BR>
      Eduardo Fernández

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • Cacho Tirao (*1941)
        • 1.Milonga de Don Taco03:05
      • Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944) La Catedral
        • 2.I. Preludio01:57
        • 3.II. Andante reiligioso01:44
        • 4.III. Allegro solemne03:19
      • Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992) Cinco Piezas
        • 5.I. Campero04:00
        • 6.II. Romantico04:01
        • 7.III. Acentuado03:12
        • 8.IV. Triston04:10
        • 9.V. Compadre02:47
      • Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944)
        • 10.Maxixe02:53
      • Gentil Montaña (*1938) Suite No. 4
        • 11.1. Nostaliga Bogotana04:08
        • 12.2. Danza06:10
        • 13.3. Bambuco04:43
        • 14.4. Porro03:49
      • Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992) / Keigo Fuji
        • 15.Chiquilin de Bachin03:46
      • Carlos Guastavino (1912–2000) Sonata para Guitarra
        • 16.1. Allegro deciso e molto ritmico06:27
        • 17.2. Andante04:13
        • 18.3. Allegro spiritoso03:33
      • G. Matos Rodriguez / Cacho Tirao
        • 19.La Cumparsita03:10
      • Total:01:11:07