Through The Centuries CD by Kevin Manderville
David Kellner (1670-1747) primary contributions were as a church musician, though little is known about his life or musical activities. He was organist in the Jacobs Kyrka in Stockholm and later as a chime player at the German church. Only two of his works survived, the "Treulicher Unterricht im General-Bass" published in 1732 and the "XVI Auserlesene Lauten-Stucke", consisting of seventeen pieces written for the lute. The latter includes Six Phantasias, two sets of pieces in D major and A major, and a Chaconne. The three Phantasias recorded here begin with free introductions followed by elaborate uses of arpeggios, slur passages, and contrapuntal textures before concluding with a short coda.
Fernando Sor (1778-1839), considered the "Beethoven of the Guitar", was born in Barcelona. Although Spanish by birth, he spent most of his adult life in Paris. Sor not only composed for the guitar, but also wrote symphonies, operas, piano works and ballets. The Fantaisie...expressement compose et dediee a son Eleve Madame Boischevalier, nee Mertain par Ferdinand Sor, Op. 58 was published in Paris in 1835. The work begins with an introduction in a minor, which leads to a lyrical andante that changes modes between A minor and A major, and then concludes with a cheerful waltz.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) was among the first composers to write music for the great Andres Segovia. His first piece, Variations a travers les siecles. Op 71 was written in 1932 after the two met in Venice during an international music festival. Each variation is inspired by different periods on music. The theme (a Chaconne) and Variation I (Preludio) represent the baroque period. This is followed by several waltzes, which were inspired by the Romantic era. The piece concludes with a Fox-Trot, with shades of jazz harmonies reminiscent of the early part of the 20th century.
Leo Brouwer (b.1939) is recognized as one of the most prolific composers for the guitar in the 20th century and beyond. His compositions can be classified into three distinctive stylistic periods; Nationalist, Avant-Garde, and his current Neo-Romantic style of writing. The three pieces by Brouwer presented on this recording represent a work from each period. An Idea was written in 1999 for Canadian guitarist and pedagogue Eli Kassner in honor of his 70th birthday. Canticum, composed in 1968 at the request of Cuban guitarist Carlos Molina, was the first piece written during his avant-garde period. It consists of two sections, Eclosion and Ditirambo. Both sections are built upon a three-note motif that is expanded and manipulated throughout the work. Written in 1962, Zapateo was an early piece written as part of Dos Aires Populares Cubanos (Two Popular Cuban Airs).
Phillip Houghton (b.1954) was born in Australia and was originally trained as an artist. Houghton is a self-taught composer whose influences include visual arts, mythology and nature, but also diverse music genres such as rock, jazz, classical, and world music. He has, however, had some formal training in classical guitar, studying with Sebastian Jorgenson, to whom God of the Northern Forest is dedicated. Inspired by a painting by Swiss artist Paul Klee of the same title and Jorgenson's Nordic heritage, Houghton writes the following in the Preface of the score explaining the tuning of the 6th string to the note F, a half-step above standard E: "I did this because I felt the bass F captured something of the painting's ‘resonance', especially the powerful inverted D minor chord it makes with the open A and D strings. The chord, played ‘like an anvil,' dominates the opening of the solo before returning towards the end, and is the backbone of the piece." Written in 1998 Kinkachoo, I love You is a short delicate work that serves as somewhat of a postlude to the previous Houghton piece. Although there is no indication that they are meant to be performed together, the F tuning of the 6th string seems to bond the two works. Underneath the title in the score, Houghton writes: " …the Kinkachoo, a mythical bird, once wounded in the Spirit-Realm, heals and flies into the world."
Joaquin Turina (1882-1949) was a Spanish pianist, composer, and conductor. He received his musical training in both Sevilla and Madrid before studying in Paris with Vincent D'Indy at the Schola Cantorum. While in Paris, he befriended Debussy and Ravel as well as fellow countrymen Albeniz and de Falla. These friendships would have a profound effect on his compositional style, fusing together elements of French Impressionism with the folk music of his native Spain, in particular flamenco. Turina was one of the first composers approached by Segovia to write for the guitar. The first of several works was Sevillana (Fantasia), Op.29, written in 1923. The flamenco influence is heard throughout the piece, with use of rasqueados, golpe, rapid scale runs and harmonies typical of this style.
Federico Moreno-Torroba (1899-1986) was a Spanish composer often associated with the zarzuela, became the first composer to answer Segovia's call to expand the guitar repertoire. In 1921, Torroba composed the attractive Danza in E minor, which later became the last movement of the Suite Castellana. Torroba's Castillos de Espana is comprised of fourteen character pieces based on various castles in Spain. Torija, subtitled "Elegia", is based on 15th- century castle from the province of Guadalajara.