Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
Concierto de Aranjuez [23:20]
Fantasia para un gentilhombre [21:57]
Elogio de la guitarra [14:38]
Charles Ramirez (guitar)
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Douglas Boyd.
rec. 16-17 October 2010, Auditorio Baranain, Pamplona, Spain and 13-14 December 2010 Sherbourne Manor, Warwickshire, U.K.
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD244 [59:57]

Experience Classicsonline


The Concierto de Aranjuez was arguably not the first concerto written for guitar during the magnificent renaissance of the instrument in the twentieth century. It did however become the one most revered and loved, that crossed genre into jazz and was adapted into a number of different musical contexts. The poet/songwriter Rod McKuen was inspired to write lyrics - Inside of Me - for accompaniment by the adagio movement. Even tenor, Andrea Bocelli managed to include a version of the adagio in his repertoire.
 
Written in 1939, the premiere performance by its dedicatee, Regino Sainz de la Maza, was in Barcelona on 9 November, the following year.
 
Not surprisingly the second movement adagio attracted most attention and is about the same length as the other two combined. The concerto was written at a time when Rodrigo’s wife was expecting their first child; the infant was stillborn. The adagio movement was an expression of Rodrigo’s emotions and exchanges with the Deity. There is a recurring motif; the cor anglais first establishes the melody and the guitar answers with subsequent responses by other instruments using the same motif. The movement ends with a passage symbolic of the infant’s ascension to Heaven. 

The Concierto de Aranjuez is coupled with another of Rodrigo’s work for guitar and orchestra: Fantasia para un gentilhombre. Composed in 1954, and dedicated to the gentilhombre of the title, Andrés Segovia, the four movements are based on the dances of lutenist Gaspar Sanz (1640-1710). Most of the movements retain their original names. The work was commissioned by Segovia and on 5 March 1958 he played the inaugural performance in San Francisco; Enrique Jordá conducted the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
 
The review disc is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is that it represents the first solo recording of an artist who has been eminent in his field for more than three decades. Charles Ramirez was born in Gibraltar. The now 57 year old guitarist studied the guitar initially in Gibraltar with William Gomez and then Narciso Yepes. In 1971 Ramirez entered London’s Royal College of Music, studying guitar with Patrick Bashford and composition with Stephen Dodgson; he was the first ever guitar student at the College. In 1973 Ramirez gave his first performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez, with full orchestra. He was appointed Professor of Guitar at RCM in 1978, a position he still holds. 

A key challenge in recording the guitar with orchestra - or indeed most instruments - is the balance between an instrument with no sustain, low volume, and the power of an orchestra. Some recordings give the impression of an orchestral recital with accompaniment by the guitar; others sound as though the parts were recorded discretely and then ‘pasted’ together later. One immediately evident virtue of the review recording is an empathetic balance between orchestra and soloist, without any sense of the guitar being swamped.
 
Overall the review recording is very well produced and engineered, resulting in significant sonic excellence. The detail is such that the reed sound of wind instruments is clearly audible [tr. 2, 6:45]. On appropriate reproducing equipment, a strong sense of presence is evoked.
 
Charles Ramirez’s performance is laudable. In the Aranjuez his rendition may not represent the highest level of technical pyrotechnics recorded, but it is most musical and very sure-footed. The soloist’s reading, highly complementary contributions of the orchestra and the sonic qualities of the recording make this a hard combination to beat.
 
The final work, Elogio de la guitarra, a three movement composition in the manner of a sonata, displays Ramirez’s prodigious capabilities as a soloist. Guitarists will be interested to note that a different guitar was used in this part of the recording; the guitar is by Italian maker, Renato Barone. In the Aranjuez and Fantasia, Ramirez plays a guitar by Spanish luthier, Teodoro Perez. The marked contrast in sound is clearly evident. The different recording venues may also accentuate this variance.
 
While not mentioned in the liner-notes, Charles Ramirez graciously volunteered additional information about his choice of instruments for this recording. Since 1973 he has exclusively played a particularly outstanding instrument by Jose Romanillos. This guitar breaks with the luthier’s tradition in that he did not include a specific name for it on the label. The guitar ultimately developed a problem resulting in bad intonation when played. This remained unresolved at the time of the review recording, forcing a choice of alternative instruments. This guitar has fortunately now been restored to its former glory by the expert hands of luthier, Peter Barton. There is a certain irony in waiting so long to make a solo recording, and then not being able to use an instrument favoured over thirty-seven years.
 
One of the best recordings of this repertoire, and well worth the long wait.
 
Zane Turner 

Masterwork Index: Concierto de Aranjuez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.