Works for Guitar Duo

Dusan Bogdanovic
1. Sonata Fantasia

Joaquin Rodrigo Tonadilla
2. Allegro ma non troppo

3. Minuetto pomposo
4. Allegro vivace

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Fuga Elegiaca
5. Preludio
6. Fuga
Jean Absil
Suite pur deux guitares
7. Allegretto scherzando
Giuseppe Rosetta
10. Allegro
11. Secondo tempo: Adagio
12. Intermezzo: ritmo di danza
13. Tema con variazioni: mosso
Pierre Petit

As far back as the beginning of ninth century, guitar duo was appreciated for its specific and charming expressive microcosm. In spite of its small sonorous and register’s sizes, inside of it there are all the elements that are characteristics of orchestral writing: pertaining to tone-colour richness, melodic and harmonic capabilities, possibilities. The most important guitarists-composers of ninth century, understood these possibilities; Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani, Ferdinando Carulli and many others, became fond of two guitars’ writing and they found an effective revenge mean in it for their instrument, that was a new-born in that period and it was surrounded with other musicians’ scepticism. After the period of oblivion that the guitar passed just from Romanticism, it is necessary to wait the second part of ‘900 to see duo’s re-birth. Guitar became a fertile experimentation area from composers and it assumed a very important role, as it was a period of big interest for pertaining to tone colour search and there was a rejection of powerful sonorous multitudes of the end of Romanticism. The presence on musical scene of important guitar-duos, create a new repertory, finally characterized from a strong idiom in writing.

Dusan Bogdanovic, the only one guitarist-composer in the CD, reveals in its Sonata Fantasia of 1991, his attitude to the assimilation of various styles that come together into a musical excerpt of a very clear formal structure and giving to it an inexhausted vitality. Probably stimulated by dedicatees Sergio and Odair Assad, Bogdanovic seems to be delighted of a virtuosic writing, with bright pertaining to tone-colour and rhythmic ideas of great suggestion. The musical excerpt, without solution of continuity, presents a first section Allegro ritmico in which we can see the typical elements of sonata form, followed by an Adagio rubato with a most meditative peculiarity, and so it ends with anAllegro molto of a wild rhythmic power.

Tonadilla was composed in 1960 from Joaquin Rodrigo and it appears as a very evocative musical excerpt, rich of exterior stimulations that lead to the representation of vaguely stereotyped ethnical Spanish elements. This iconography seems to be lived with conscience by Rodrigo and in this way the musical excerpt gains credibility. In the beginning, the allegro ma non troppothen develops on a continuous rhythmic flow and simple melodic refrains, slightly rippled from the strategic use of dissonances that Rodrigo loves. TheMinueto Pomposo that follows is inspired with sincerity and it finds its best weapon just in the contents simplicity. The musical excerpt ends with anAllegro vivace in which the whirling of notes, dances with lightness and excitement.

Fuga Elegiaca was composed by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco in 1967 as a memorial to the guitarist Ida Presti, died young a short time before. This musical excerpt is a polished stylistic exercise as well as almost all the Florentine musician’s production, and it shrinks from dramatic moments. Instead it points out on a typical nostalgic attitude of the author, very appropriated in this case. In the Preludio (excited and trembling), Castelnuovo-Tedesco finds their way to express from time to time their irony full of cultured references. In the following Fuga they point out more and more on malinconic tones of this musical excerpt, through a limpid contrapuntal construction.

The excerpt Suite pour 2 Guitares of Jean Absil, appears in the late production of the Belgian composer, that approaches to the guitar only when he was seventy years old. Its language seems to do homage to tradition, but in spite of this, it has its own exuberance that takes cue essentially from a rhythmic counterpoint of great effectiveness. The Suite alternates three movements of contrasting modulation: Andantino, more melodic and reflective central moment, is preceded by the Allegretto scherzando and the final Vivo, that ends in a very brilliantly way the excerpt, follows it.

Giuseppe Rosetta approaches guitar in his old age too. However he produced many excerpts for this instrument. Certainly among these, comes out the Sonata for two guitars of 1971. This excerpt is articulated in four movements and it is opened by an Allegro in a perfectly structured sonata form. It’s admirable the ability with which the author makes the two instruments dialogue between them. Then follows an inspired Adagio in which the guitar has a melodic and harmonic smoothness with clear references to Ravel music. The next Intermezzo, with an impudent dance peculiarity, suddenly breaks the existing atmosphere. The Sonata ends with a Tema, a kind of popular singsong followed by seven variations developed with great ability from composer.

The CD ends with a spirited Tarantelle of the French composer Pierre Petit, dedicated to the duo Presti-Lagoya.This excerpt is marked with an amused instrumental virtuosity and it celebrates with taste the Parthenopean dance commonplace. A central insert with a slower modulation and a vaguely exotic peculiarity makes still more pleasant the final of the tarantella resumption and ends joyously the listening through a more and more concise orchestration game.

Stefano Palamidessi