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Classical 101

Music from Spanish Zarzuela for Four Guitars and a Mandolin Concerto

Classical guitarist David Russell on stage at Teatro Principal in Mao, Menorca
Courtsey of the artist
Classical guitarist David Russell on stage at Teatro Principal in Mao, Menorca

The Romeros, the "Royal Family of the Guitar," have collectively and individually recorded much of the Spanish guitar literature, but they have also delved into related music as well.  They recorded an overture to a zarzuela, La Revoltosa (The Mischievous One) from 1897 by Ruperto Chapi.

Zarzuela is the colorful musical theater of Spain that combines popular-type songs and native dances, and Chapi was one of the masters of the form.  This engaging overture will begin the hour on the next Fretworks on Classical 101.

Scottish guitarist David Russell keeps us in Spain for Granada by Isaac Albeniz.  It's a piece written originally for piano and is from the Suite Espanola of 1886, but is heard much more often in a guitar transcription.  Albeniz was a pianist himself, but he wanted to evoke the feeling of the guitar in some of the works he wrote.  Naturally guitarists couldn't resist  adapting these pieces to their instrument.

Alison Stephens is the soloist with the London Mozart players for the Mandolin Concerto in G by Johann Nepomuk Hummel.  Franz Joseph Haydn was one of Hummel's teachers in Vienna and he later enjoyed the esteem and friendship of Schubert, Chopin, and some ups and downs in the case of Beethoven.  Hummel's Trumpet Concerto in E flat is his best-known work today, but this mandolin concerto is an enjoyable piece from 1799.

Canadian guitarist Alan Rinehart plays Four Pieces by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce.  Andres Segovia met Ponce in Mexico in 1923, and that began a fruitful collaboration that resulted in many fine new works for the guitar, including the Concierto del Sur (Concerto of the South), as well as numerous solo pieces.  We'll hear: Waltz, por ti mi corazon, Tropica, and Rumba

Antoine de Lhoyer was a French guitar virtuoso, composer and teacher of the first half of the 19th century.  He's remembered now mainly for his works for two guitars, which contain inventive and colorful dialogs between the two instruments.  Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli will be the musical conversationalists for the Duo Concertant in A.

Join me for Fretworks Saturday and Wednesday evenings at 7 on Classical 101.