1. Introduction – Vivace 1.19
2. Melodico 1.33
3. Tempo de Vals lento 2.18
4. Allegro humoristico 0.59
5. Quasi ad libitum (sentimental) 1.50
6. Presto 0.47
7. Melodico 1.04
8. Adela 2.50
9. Pastorcito santo 3.16
10. Coplillas de Belén 1.19
11. Pequeña Sevillana (from Tres pequeñas piezas) 3.34
12. Coplas del pastor enamorado 3.52
13. Canço del lladre 2.18
14. El Testament d’Amelia 2.24
15. El Noi de la mare 2.21
Agustín Pérez Soriano:
16. Suena guitarrico mío from zarzuela El guitarrico * 3.28
Agustín Barrios Mangoré:
17. Julia Florida – Barcarola 4.55
18. Abismo de sed ** 1.56
19. La rosa y el sauce ** 3.11
20. Milonga de dos hermanos ** 1.28
21. Oblivión 4.20
22. Tango en skaï 2.50
23. El día que me quieras * 4.24
Aldo Rodríguez Delgado:
Canción y danza
24. Andante 2.26
25. Allegro 1.28
26. Amor, vida de mi vida from zarzuela Maravilla * 3.32
27. Zapateado from zarzuela La Tempranica * 1.27
* arr. Miriam Rodriguez Brüllová
** arr. Daniel Bolshoy
Production and Distribution: PAVLÍK RECORDS · Recorded in Heľpa (Slovakia) in the Roman catholic church · Photo: Karol Brüll (in Synagogue Šamorín) Graphic design: Eva Pavlíková · Special thanks to ThLic. Vladimír Vojtašák, Csaba Kiss, Lilko and Venger families.
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Miriam about Hispanic Spirit
At the very beginning of the journey towards this CD stands my great affection to the vocal art. Besides my solo career I have always planned to perform with singers. After all, what could be more natural than the unison of voice with guitar? In the world of pop music this is undoubtedly the most frequent combination, in the world of classical music the role of the accompanying instrument is mostly given to the more “classical” and more “serious” piano.
Since my student times I have been collecting an interesting repertoire for voice and guitar. I have played and arranged a lot of Renaissance, Baroque music, Romantic songs and opera arias but my beloved is the music from the Hispanic world – so pure, touching and attractive also thanks to the strong folklore influence.
Apart from the repertoire I have been searching for my vocal partner as well. I met Pavol in 2007 at a common concert. As I heard his velvet warm baritone in Valentin’s aria from Faust, I was sure that he was “the one“. In spite of his successful opera soloist career I was very happy he got enthusiastic about this genre of music. Ever since we have been enjoying performing together.
The choice of the vocal pieces is a modest display of the beautiful melodies from the Hispanic world, starting in Spain with Rodrigo’s intimate songs, passing through Argentina with charming Guastavino’s songs and passionate tango by Gardel and finally returning to Spain with its’ greatest contribution to lyric theatre – zarzuela.
All accompaniments of these pieces are originally written for piano or orchestra, yet they adapt so naturally to the guitar which even enhances – on one hand certain intimate and nostalgic spirit, on the other Spanish vivid temperament of this music manifesting so well on the guitar – the essential Spanish folklore instrument.
Selected instrumental pieces by Granados, Llobet, Barrios or Piazzolla are outstandingly melodic and therefore they create – as well as the other guitar solos – a harmonic unity with the vocal compositions.
Valses poéticos was first published, along with the Valses íntimos by the same composer, in the influential journal Ilustración musical hispano-americana (Barcelona) in 1894. Like the well-known pieces from the Suite española (Granada, Sevilla, Cataluña, etc.) by Granados’ contemporary Issac Albéniz, Valses poéticos adapts so well to the guitar also thanks to the essential “Spanish” character in the music manifesting so naturally on the guitar. It is now perhaps performed on the guitar as much as on the original piano.
Granados was a Spanish pianist and composer, representative of musical nationalism. He was trained primarily as a pianist but also studied, probably informally, with the great Spanish musicologist Felipe Pedrell. It is reasonable to assume that the strong nationalist-folk element in Granados’ music came to be at least partially as a result of Pedrell’s influence. Like so many of his compatriots, Granados also spent some time in Paris as a young man attending classes at the conservatoire and basking in Parisian intellectual society. His music is in many aspects the natural synthesis of these dual influences, local and cosmopolitan.
Rodrigo was not a composer in the mould of Beethoven. In his 200-plus scores you will have to search long and hard to find any agonized searching after musical truths. Nor was Rodrigo a particularly fluent composer. He often found himself frustrated, waiting for inspiration to strike: “I have to be touched by a magic wand,” he once admitted. But in his home country he is viewed as a national hero, and has several streets and squares named after him. He was one of the longest-lived of all contemporary composers – and without doubt the most popular. Yet he remained forever modest, as he once put it: “In life you can never be first in anything. I only aspire to be an improved Joaquín Rodrigo.” He has adapted for the guitar the accompaniments to some of his more than 60 songs. Although all four songs are originally composed for voice and piano, their intimacy suits so well to the guitar as the accompanying instrument. Pequeña Sevillana is the last movement of Rodrigo’s work Tres pequeñas piezas composed in 1963. It is a short brilliant miniature inspired by Andalusian folklore music – flamenco.
Llobet was Tárrega’s most virtuosic pupil and had a very extensive performing career. His first recordings (c. 1925) predate Segovia’s by four years. He was also the dedicatee of Manuel de Falla’s only work for the guitar, the Homenaje, pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy. Although his own compositions are worthy of more performances than they receive, he is best remembered for his superb arrangements of folk songs from his native Catalonia. The haunting melodies, with their unique blend of French and Spanish traits, are never obscured; they are, rather, enhanced by Llobet’s unfailingly tasteful harmonizations and by his skilful use of the guitar’s resources.
El guitarrico – (The Little Guitar), a short zarzuela in three scenes, is the only work to keep Soriano’s name alive today. He was a noted musicologist, and Perico’s lively jota Suena guitarrico mío has all the freshness of the Aragonese folksongs and dances the composer loved to collect. The action takes place in a village square during a fiesta. Perico employs all his charm as singer and guitar-player to serenade his beloved and win her heart. Needless to say, he succeeds.
”Barcarola Julia Florida is one of my favourite Barrios’ pieces. The phrasing is natural and the guitar is at home throughout the work. I get a wonderful feeling when I play the piece. Although very intimate, Barcarola wants to be shared with a world audience. The motion of waves and the little boat is what Barrios had in mind when he wrote down the first measures of Barcarola.”
Carlos Guastavino (1912 – 2000) was one of the foremost Argentine composers of the 20th century, his production amounted to over 500 works, most of them songs for piano and voice, many still unpublished. His music is approachable, intriguing, and refreshing, in many ways celebrates the rich cultural tradition and physical beauty of his country. Guastavino is recognized for his unique melodic gift and characteristic charm. His reputation was based almost entirely on his songs, and Guastavino has sometimes been called “the Schubert of the Pampas.” Some of his songs, especially La rosa y el sauce (The Rose and the Willow) became national favorites.
Piazzolla’s place in Argentina’s greatest cultural export is roughly equivalent to that of Duke Ellington in jazz – the genius composer who took an earthy, sensual, even disreputable folk music and elevated it into a sophisticated form of high art.
In Piazzolla’s hands, tango was no longer strictly a dance music; his compositions borrowed from jazz and classical forms, creating a whole new harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary made for the concert hall more than the ballroom – tango nuevo style.
Here is the famous Oblivión, a short tribute to the magic of Piazzolla.
Roland Dyens born 1955 in Tunisia is a French classical guitarist and one of the most prolific guitar composer of his generation.
Tango en Skaï (1985) is one of his best-known pieces. Skaï is a French slang term for imitation leather, and here references the Gauchos of Argentina and Southern Brazil who are known for their distinctive leather outfits. Hence Tango en Skaï is a humorous, gaudy take on the tango.
El día que me quieras (The day that you love me) is a tango with music by Carlos Gardel and lyrics by Alfredo Le Pera. Originally featured in the 1935 film of the same name, it became a heavily recorded tango standard, even by artists outside of the realm of tango.
Singer, songwriter, composer and actor Carlos Gardel was one of the best-loved stars Latin America has ever produced. At the peak of his fame in the 1920s and early 1930s, he was famous far beyond the country of Argentina, where he spent most of his life, and he played an important role in popularizing the music of the Argentine tango all over the world.
“I have no doubt that Aldo Rodríguez ranks among the highest figures of the Cuban music . He is already pointing towards the high peaks of Latin American musical future, with a distinguished personality as a guitar and music composition virtuoso, whose results will soon surprise those who feel and think the pure Latin American soul.” (Alirio Díaz)
The long career of Moreno Torroba embodies the latest flowering of the zarzuela. Born in Madrid (3rd March 1891) the son of a well-known organist and pupil of the ubiquitous father-figure of musical nationalism Felipe Pedrell, Torroba divided his talents between composing, conducting and impresario work, writing a great deal of symphonic and instrumental music. At one time he was the manager of no less than three opera companies, giving important premieres of works by Sorozábal, Giménez and Guerrero in addition to his own. In particular, his great touring company continued to bring the zarzuela tradition to the international stage (especially the USA and Spanish Central America) throughout the 30’s and 40’s. Many great zarzuelists performed under his direction, not least the parents of Plácido Domingo.
The moving Amor, vida de mi vida from La Maravilla (The Marvel, 1941) was written for heart-throb tenorial baritone Luis Sagi Vela. Rafael, a promising but penniless singer at Madrid’s Teatro Real opera house, believes himself spurned for a rich rival and pours out his grief. Believing that his beloved Emilia has chosen his rival he is blaming her for playing him false – though the truth is soon unravelled, and the lovers reunited.
Giménez wrote many zarzuelas – his detractors would have said too many. At its best, his work has an elegant finish and tuneful verve that disarm criticism. First seen at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid in 1900, La tempranica may be short and simple, but it covers a surprising amount of musical and dramatic ground. It remains one of the most influential achievements of the zarzuela tradition.
The cheeky gypsy boy Grabyé sings this Andalusian heel-and-toe dance song Zapateado about the wicked ways of the tarantula – or perhaps the dangers of falling in love.