Música para flauta y guitarra. Volumen II
(Music for flute and guitar. Volume II)
Mª Esther Guzmán y Luis Orden
Works by Piazzola, Pujol, Sasaki, Llopart y Patterson
Second CD of the duo formed by María Esther Guzmán and Luis Orden, after their successful first album (Lindoro, 2004) in which they performed compositions by Piazzolla, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Beaser, Amargós and Morales. Once more, these excellent performers select a varied repertoire of the highest quality. They attend to every detail of the delicate combination of flute and guitar while also giving consideration to the intimate space that each individual instrument represents. This record shows the maturity of the duo who are used to choosing and analyzing their repertoire carefully, who give shape to their interpretations through several live performances before recording them. The journey through the subtle landscape of wood and wind continues…
This time, our journey begins with “Two Japanese songs” arranged by guitarist Tadashi Sasaki (Tokyo 1943). Both songs share the delicate and enigmatic sounds of the Oriental tradition. The pieces are based on poems by Hakushu Kitahara (Fukuoka 1885 – Tokyo, 1942). The first song, “Sunayama” (Sand mountain) derives from a popular song by Shinpei Nakayama (Nagoya, 1887-1952). It opens with a fluent melody reminiscent of a beach landscape before moving towards the sand hills, announced by percussive effects on the guitar and represented by jazzy unison passages. The second song, “Matsushima Ondo”, is by Kosaku Yamada (Tokyo, 1886-1965), a composer and conductor who has been greatly influenced by the European tradition (Yamada studied in Germany for four years). The piece begins with fluttering sounds on the guitar, while a distant melody from the flute plays a traditional fisherman’s song, a “call of the sea” from Matsushima (North of Japan).
American composer Richard Patterson (North Carolina, 1952) is a guitarist, teacher and composer. Since 1982 he has been performing in a duo with his wife, a flute player. “Meadowsong” was written in 1984. The composition starts with a guitar solo using campanella effects that evoke “wide and green landscapes”. The flute joins in, initially in harmony with the guitar. Gradually the flute frees itself from the regular patterns of the guitar and develops its own melodic character. Halfway through the work, the music rests in a quiet adagio. Then the guitar provides a stair from whose top the flute can resume its contemplation of the fields.
“Libertango” and “Adiós Nonino” are two masterpieces by Astor Piazzolla (Mar del Plata, 1921 – Buenos Aires, 1992), bandoneón player, composer and tango innovator. Regarded as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, this cosmopolitan Argentinian merged classical and popular music masterfully.
“Libertango” was written in 1974, when Piazzolla moved to Rome. His agent, Aldo Pagani, asked him to compose a song no longer than three minutes, suitable for radio and jukeboxes. “My music does not adjust to any schedule”, Piazzolla responded. Nevertheless, he eventually composed a few short pieces that were released together in the album “Libertango”, which involved several excellent Italian musicians. The album title is also the name of the main number, which became a hit in Italy. The setting included bandoneon, Hammond organ, marimba, low flute in C, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, percussion and a string orchestra. “Libertango” is one of the most recorded works by Piazzolla. The disco version that Grace Jones made in 1981 (“I’ve seen that face before”) was successful all over the world. The present arrangement for flute and guitar approaches the tango with great transparency. After the introduction, the wellknown main theme is expanded through variations that keep resonating in the listener’s ear.
“My number one is ‘Adiós Nonino’. A thousand times I tried to write a better one, and I could not”, said Piazzolla in 1990. His statement is not surprising, since this tango probably is his finest work. It was written in memory of his father (who was known as Nonino) a few days after his death, in October 1959. After a tour in Central America, Piazzolla had returned to New York, where he had been living for a year. His attempt to develop a tango-jazz style was unsuccessful; he felt depressed, had financial problems, and longed to return to Argentina. He wrote the piece in forty-five minutes, adding a sublime melody to another tango that he had written for his father four years before (“Nonino”). Then he arranged it for his quintet: bandoneon, violin, piano, electric guitar and double bass. Countless versions of this work have been made. For this present CD, María Esther Guzmán prepared a transcription for flute and guitar that successfully transmits the abundance of feelings and memories that the composer must have felt at such a difficult moment. The mastery with which the flute approaches the tango rhythm stands out, as do the subtle range of emotions displayed by the guitar during the famous lamentation passage, one of the jewels of Argentinian music of all times.