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Fernando Sor - Early Works (2010)

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Fernando Sor - Early Works (2010)

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Three Minuets, Op. 11 
1 	No. 6 In A Major: Andante Maestoso 	2:25
2 	No. 7 In A Minor: Andante 	2:05
3 	No. 8 In A Major: Andante Con Moto 	2:45

4 	Air: Oh Cara Armonia	9:29
5 	Menuet In C Minor, Op. 24/1 	2:58
6 	Menuet In C Major, Op. 5/3 	1:30
7 	Andante Largo, Op. 5/3 	7:46

Two Minuets, Op. 11 
8 	No. 5 In D major: Andante Maestoso 	2:14
9 	No. 4 In D major: Andante Con Moto 	3:08

From 'Studies For The Spanish Guitar', Op. 6 
10 	No. 2 In A major: Andante Allegro 	1:29
11 	No. 8 In C major: Andantino 	1:16
12 	No.9 In D Minor: Andante Allegro 	3:13
13 	No.11 In E Minor: Allegro Moderato 	3:07
14 	No.12 In A Major: Andante 	4:44

15 	Grand Solo, Op. 14: Andante, Allegro 	10:50
16 	Menuet In G major, Op. 3 	2:34

William Carter - guitar

 

Guitar fans will be intrigued by Fernando Sor: Early Works, the third solo album from the world-renowned guitarist, William Carter. This recording presents a unique performance of a delightful collection of early works by the Spanish guitar virtuoso and composer, Fernando Sor.

Fernando Sor: Early Works sees Carter explore the performance practice the composer employed - using his finger pads rather than finger nails - and offers the premiere recording of Sor's music played in this style. Sor's works are often played using the nails as this enables louder and faster finger work which delivers a more 'virtuosic' performance. William comments: 'Recording Sor's solo guitar music without fingernails was at first a fairly daunting prospect - probably why it hasn't been attempted until now. The sensation of playing without fingernails has been compared to trying to eat steak without teeth. My first attempts didn't go too well, but with a bit of time and perseverance I found a key: precision of attack and a clear mental idea of the sound required, rather than strength.'

In this recording the use of finger pads allows more dynamic contrast thus allowing the tune to really sing: the sound is softer and more subtle. 'I really like the warmer vocal quality that fingertips give' states Carter 'and this was evidently important to Sor as well - he likened the sound of fingernails to that of the harpsichord, and fingertips to that of the piano.' ---linnrecords.com

 

Among the guitarist-composers of the Classical and early Romanticperiods – Carulli, Carcassi, Giuliani, Aguardo and others – Spaniard FernandoSor (1778-1839) was perhaps the most gifted compositionally. Best known in hisday for his vocal and ballet music, he also wrote numerous fine miniatures andmore extended works for solo and duo guitar, many of which are still in therepertoire.

Here, period-instrument specialist William Carter, whose disks of the Baroque guitar music of Francesco Corbetta and Santiago de Murcia are models of their kind, turns his attention to the early solo works of Sor via a guitar built by Tony Johnson after various 19th-century instruments. And while there are other recordings available of Sor’s music on period instruments, such as those by José Miguel Moreno and Agustín Maruri, this is a first in that Carter also plays, as did Sor, with the flesh of the fingertips rather than the nails.

The use of an instrument which is lighter and smaller than a modern classical instrument and the fingertips of the right hand results in a delicate yet surprisingly broad range of tones and colours that perfectly evokes the period-instrument sound world in a chamber or orchestral context. This, combined with Carter’s refined musicianship and trademark dynamic shading shows the selection of Sor’s minuets, the famous Variations on a Theme by Mozart, the beautiful Mozartian Andante largo, some of the better-know studies from Op 6 and the masterful Grand Solo to be so much more than merely well carfted salon music. Superb. ---William Yeoman, The Gramophone

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