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Eduardo Fernandez
Between Two Worlds

Agustin Barrios MANGORÉ (1885 – 1944): Confesión (c 1920) [3:41]
Juan FALÚ (b.1948): Chacarera Ututa (1986) [2:33]
John LENNON (1940 – 1980)/Paul McCARTNEY (b.1942): Eleanor Rigby (arranged by Eduardo Fernández) [3:18]
Leo BROUWER (b.1939): Rito de los Orishás (1993) [13:07]
Juan FALÚ: De la Raiz a la Copa (1986) [1:54]
George GERSHWIN (1897 – 1937): Fascinatin’ Rhythm (arranged by Carlos Barbosa–Lima) [2:57]
Agustin Barrios MANGORÉ: Julia Florida (c 1940)  [3:42]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 – 1959): Numbers 10 and 11 from Etudes pour la guitarra (1928/1929) [7:50]
Gentil MONTANA (b.1942): Suite Columbiana No.1 (1983) [14:38]
Roland DYENS (b.1955): Saudade No.3 (1980) [6:22]
Alberto GINASTERA (1916 – 1983): Zamba and Gato from Suite of Argentine Folk Songs (1943) (arranged by Carlos Barbosa–Lima) [4:38]
John LENNON/Paul McCARTNEY: Blackbird (arranged by Eduardo Fernández) [2:15]
Eduardo Fernández (guitar) with Carlos Barbosa–Lima (guitar) (Eleanor Rigby and Ginastera only)
rec. November 1998 and February/March 1999 and 2003, Puerta Nuevo, Puerto Rico DDD
LABOR RECORDS LAB 7059 [67:02]

Experience Classicsonline


 

This is a delightful disk of unpretentious, enjoyable and well played music without problems intellectually. It will stand repeated hearings. What’s more there’s less well known composers mixed in with big names such as Gershwin and Brouwer.

Mangoré was one of the first guitarists to make gramophone records in 1909 and 1910, but not the first as John Williams claims. He was a superb guitarist and his understanding of the instrument can be heard in the two miniatures which are charming and relaxed pieces. Born in Paraguay Barrios is regarded by many as one of the greatest musicians of all time. It’s easy to see why with such lovely pieces as these.

Falú is Argentinean, and a guitarist whose style is colourful and unassuming. His works are very similar in approach and have a relaxed feel to them. Leo Brouwer is well enough known these days as a composer for the guitar – indeed, Naxos is recording his complete solo works for the instrument. His two movement Rito de los Orishás is a serious work, full of atmosphere and rhythm, with more complex music in the second of the pieces.

Despite writing a vast amount of music - there are 12 Symphonies and 17 string quartets amongst many other things – Villa-Lobos is best remembered today for his music for guitar. It is justly regarded as some of the most important music for the instrument from the earlier part of the 20th century. These two pieces, from his 12 Etudes, are quite lovely – passionate and without overt display. They make me wish we’d had more of them on this disk – but what would you have had to discard to make room for them? I hope that Fernández might be persuaded to record them all in the future.

Montana is another guitarist, Colombian-born. His Columbian Suite consists of four delightful yet modest movements which are pleasing but lack the charm of some of the other works presented here. But don’t let that worry you for it is most enjoyable. The Tunisian Dyens studied guitar with the Spanish master Alberto Ponce. Saudade No.3 is an impressive work and he packs a lot into a short time-span. In several sections, Dyens mixes the serious with the lighter and creates a fascinating composition full of interest and incident. This is a real highlight.

I’ve left the arrangements for last; they are all skillfully done and expertly performed. Eleanor Rigby starts with an elegiac, and truly heart-breaking, introduction until the song itself is given in a fast tempo. Blackbird is a simpler arrangement. Fascinatin’ Rhythm has a beautifully atmospheric introduction and then there’s a great race at the tune! So much of Ginastera’s music fits so easily onto the guitar that it’s sometimes hard to realise that a lot of it isn’t original guitar music! Zamba and Gato are the third and fifth pieces from his Cinco canciones populares argentinas for voice and piano.

 

An interesting and entertaining disk well worth exploring.


Bob Briggs

 



 


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