This project has been in the works for the last couple of years, and has been steadily gaining momentum since our good friend and colleague Joe Williams joined the group earlier this year. With this new addition, along with the help of award-winning producer Brad Sayles, we hope to put out an amazing recording of never before heard arrangements and compositions for guitar quartet.
What will be included?
We start things off with Richard Yates' brilliant arrangement of J. S. Bach's entire Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Mr. Yates has this to say about his reworking of the piece: "The original instrumentation for this large work included three violins, three violas, three violoncellos and continuo.Were there considerable obstacles to arranging this for four guitars? Not so much in reducing the range or texture, but in trying to address the ways that Bach so artfully arranged the interplay of the different instrument sections. While much of that structure is apparently lost in the superficial look at the guitar scores, in performance the sections can be resurrected through the technique of the players".
This will be followed by the world-premiere recording of Antoine de Lhoyer's Air Varié et Dialogué.This is quite possibly the first composition written specifically for guitar quartet. In its original form, Air is a theme and variations with a unifying coda that relies heavily on the first guitar to take on virtuosic passages, effectively making this a one sided dialogue among friends! What we have done (thanks in large part to Mitch Weverka) is redistributed the parts from the original score discovered by Matayna Orphee so that the duties are more evenly spread throughout the group. While the end result doesn't adhere to the original score, our interpretation is better suited to the skills of the individual players.
Isaac Albeniz is the most famous guitar composer that never wrote for guitar! The pieces featured here are brand new arrangements by Alejandro Montiel - Aragon and Castilla (from Suite Española) and Cordoba (from Cantos de España). Dr. Montiel managed to retain the pieces in their original keys, enhanced by the beautiful colors available to the four guitars.
The next piece is a highly unprecedented departure in the guitar world. Composed during the Napoleonic Wars, the Egmont Overture represents the end and quite possibly the height of Beethoven's Middle Period. Reduced for four guitars by Dr. Isaac Bustos, we can gain a new perspective on this quintessential orchestral work.
The final piece to be included in this recording is Joe Williams' magnificent three-movement work, Red. According to Williams, the piece is "three different takes on life and death." As the title of the first movement suggests, we do the best we can during our short lifetimes. We work, we go to movies, we play video games, cook, and through all of this, we try not to die. The second movement was written originally for harp and dedicated to the birth of one of Williams' niece. The final movement has a scientific perspective on life. The title of the third movement "Cells making cells making cells" suggests that on a biological level, life goes on and nature has no regards for our feelings and accomplishments.
With your kind donations, we can get this recording out to you in March 2012!
- (59 days)