The music of Spain lies at the heart of the classical guitar tradition. Duo Orfeo warmly embraces this heritage, offering a program that includes several of the guitar’s most beloved compositions alongside rarely-heard gems of late-Romantic and early-Modern Spanish music.
The music of Catalan composer Federico Mompou, long shrouded in obscurity excepting a few works, is beginning to experience a revival – thanks in part to Duo Orfeo’s constant efforts to brings it to the light. The charm of his exquisitely crafted miniatures lies in their great depth and distinctive personality found in a framework of simplicity. Duo Orfeo plays a selection of Mompou’s piano music in their own arrangements. Another composer known for his brilliance within brevity is the Andalusian Manuel de Falla whose Canciones Populares Españolas are played here in instrumental arrangements. American guitarist Phillip de Fremery was a disciple of Andrés Segovia and has himself taught several generations of young guitarists (including Joe and Jamie of Duo Orfeo). His sole original composition, Music After Lorca, was inspired by the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca and is steeped in the profound pathos and passion of Cante Jondo (flamenco).
Before Andrés Segovia took the world stage by storm, there was already a thriving guitar scene in Spain. Two central figures of that scene were Miguel Llobet and Francisco Tárrega. This program features both their original compositions and their arrangements of the great Spanish composers Albéniz and Granados. From a guitaristic standpoint, their music displays a perfect knowledge of the subtle expressive capabilities of the guitar: a truly romantic virtuosity and finesse (typified by the exquisite use of glissandi, portamenti and harmonics) that has been virtually forgotten by modern performers. From a musical standpoint, these pieces brim with the sounds and imagery of Spain: the rhythms of flamenco, the songs of children, the church bells of Cordoba, the swaying of palm trees.
Works to be performed on the “Evocación” program include:
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
Evocación from Suite Iberia
Rumores de la Caleta from Recuerdos de Viaje
Selections from Chants d’Espagne
Federico Mompou (1893-1987)
Cançons i Danses No. 6 and No. 10
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), Selections from Siete Canciones Populares Españolas
Phillip de Fremery (b. 1946), Music After Lorca
Enrique Granados (1867-1916), Danza Española No. 11, Zambra
Miguel Llobet (1878-1938), Selection of Catalonian Folksongs
Andrés Segovia (1893-1987), Divertimento
Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), Recuerdos de la Alhambra