Famous composers who are usually not associated with the guitar - and a hunting trip through the piano repertoire's treasure rooms.
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Robert Schumann: 4 Studies from op.56 *
No.1 Not too fast / No.2 With intimate expression / No.4 Intimate / No.5 Not too fast
Joaquin Rodrigo: Tres Piezas *
Caleseras / Sonada de Adios / Danza Valenciana
Frederic Chopin: 4 Préludes from op.28
No.15 Sostenuto / No.17 Allegretto / No.6 Lento Assai / No.12 Presto
Frederic Chopin / Antonio C. Jobim: Prélude op.28 no.4 / How Insensitive *
Frederic Chopin: Vals op.64 no.2 *
--- Intermission ---
Martin Schwarz: Evocación
Tomás Gubitsch: Te accordas de mi? *
Chick Corea: Addendum **
Pat Metheny: Letter from Home **
Chick Corea: The Hilltop *
Hermeto Pascoal: Bebé **
Egberto Gismonti: Fala de Paixao **
Hermeto Pascoal: Sao Jorge **
Arrangements: * Martin Schwarz // ** Petr Saidl
"The Names" Programme Text
Well known and unknown pieces by famous and very influential composers: But Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin and Chick Corea on the guitar? Yes, please! Guitar4mation dares to enter the realms of the piano's vast repertoire and - in the first part of the programme - offers only works that were originally composed for this instrument. At the end of this set, Guitar4mation proves Antonio Carlos Jobim guilty of copying from a great master and then transports a famous waltz to Venezuela: Chopin reload!
The second half offers a visit to the Argentinian tango nuevo as well as to the jazz wizzards Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. In the end, the journey leads us to Brazil, where we encounter Latin jazz icons Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti.
Robert Schumann: 4 Studies from op.56
If you ask piano players about the "Studien für den Pedalflügel op.56" - Studies for the Pedal Piano - most of them will answer: 'Never heard of them!'
Robert Schumann wrote these short pieces in canonic form in 1845 for a piano with an added, organ-like foot pedal which makes a performance on a normal modern piano nearly impossible. Therefore, these compositions are almost exclusively played on organ nowadays. Schumann creates a special atmosphere in these pieces by tastefully blending J.S.Bach's counterpoint with romantic aesthetics. Because of their complex and polyphonic structure, the studies op.56 are ideally suited for 4 guitars.
Frederic Chopin: 4 Préludes from op.28
Haunted by bad health and nasty cold winter weather, Frederic Chopin wrote his Preludes op.28 in an abandoned carthusian monastery on the island of Majorca, where he spent some month with the writer George Sand. She describes this time in her novel 'A Winter in Majorca". Guitar4mation presents four of the most famous miniatures from this collection, among them the Prélude no.15, also known as the 'Raindrop Prélude'.
Joaquin Rodrigo: Tres Piezas
With his 'Concierto de Aranjuez', Joaquin Rodrigo wrote music history. Besides, he also wrote a good number of piano works in a neo-romantic, Spanish music language. Guitar4mation plays 'Caleseras' and 'Danza Valenciana' from the 'Cuatro Piezas para Piano'. In between these two dance movements, , 'Sonada de Adios' is a sombre, dark hommage to French composer Paul Dukas, which Rodrigo wrote - while staying in Salzburg - in memory of his former teacher's death.
Chopin Reload: Chopin/Jobim
Sometimes you hear a piece of music which reminds you strongly of another one, even if the combination seems far fetched. Obviously, Brazil's godfather of Bossa Nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim, had a good knowledge of Chopin's Prelude op.28 no.6 when he wrote 'How Insensitive', which soon became a classic Latin jazz standard. To say he was only 'inspired' by Chopin would not quite hit the mark - today, we would rather call his method 'Copy and Paste'. So Guitar4mation will first perform Chopin's Prelude, switch to Jobim in the middle of the piece, and, to prove their point, play both pieces simultaneously at the end.
'Copy and Relocate' would be a good description for what Guitar4mation does next with Chopin's famous waltz op.64.no.2. Why not transfer a piano waltz to Venezuela where it gets infected by syncopations and rumbling rhythm patterns? A really different Chopin - reloaded!
--- Intermission ---
The second part of the programme offers more modern sounds.
Martin Schwarz: Evocación / Tomás Gubitsch: Te accordás de mi?
Tomás Gubitsch, a wizzard guitarist and sought-after composer who is a descendant of a jewish family form Slovakia, was born in Argentina. As a nineteen year old, he was invited to join Astor Piazzolla's group on a European tour and decided to stay in Paris for political reasons. He has been working in France as a guitarist, composer and conductor, and a critic called him 'a musical melting pot'. 'Te accordas de mi?' - 'Do you remember me?' - marks the end of a long period in which Gubitsch did not play his guitar. It was written for his tango quintet and recorded on his cd "5" in 2006. The title can be interpreted as a reminiscence of a time gone by and its sounds, or as a challenging question which the instrument asks the musician.
As some kind of introduction, Guitar4mation has created 'Evocacion' which features every musician as a soloist before the rocky rhythm of the tango gets going. In the middle part of 'Te accordas de mi?', Martin Wesely plunges into a wild improvisation.
Chick Corea: The Hilltop / Pat Metheny: Letter from Home / Chick Corea: Addendum
Chamber music written by jazz musicians is not something you hear every day. Guitar4mation adapted a few rare examples of the genre for 4 guitars. 'The Hilltop' is a pulsing, improvisational piece which Chick Corea performed as a duo with bassist Stanley Clarke on his album 'My Spanish Heart', using a partially prepared piano. This is followed by 'Letter from Home' by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny - a gentle, short miniature - and the set concludes with Chick Corea's 'Addendum' which starts out with a cheerful enough melody but gets quite intricate in the middle with interweaving parts and dense chords. Chick Corea wrote 'Addendum' originally for violin, cello and piano and recorded it on 'Children's Songs' .
Hermeto Pascoal: Bebé / Egberto Gismonti: Fala Da Paixao / Hermeto Pascoal: Sao Jorge
The guitar plays a dominant and important role in Brazil's rich music culture both as a solo and a band instrument. Some of the country's best musicians were - and still are - guitarists such as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Baden Powell or Laurindo Almeida. Pianist and guitarist Egberto Gismonti is one of Latin America's most influential jazz musicians. He recorded the gentle ballad 'Fala de Paixao' on his 2008 album 'Alma' (a coincidence? Guitar4mation was also in the studio at this time recording their album 'Alma de Sonada'). In Brazil, multi instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal is called 'O Bruxo' - the wizzard - for his ability to create music with everything that surrounds him, from tea spoons to children's toys or even living animals. Miles Davis called him 'the most impressive musician in the world'. Guitar4mation performs 'Bebe' with ostinate rhythm patterns, and 'Sao Jorge', the latter a musical hommage to Saint George with a churchsong - like, easily memorable melody interchanging with breathtakingly virtuosic musical lines over a bouncy beat that will have your feet tapping in time.