MANUEL DE FALLA
Why two guitars and not one?
It is said that: «Nothing is better than one guitar, with the exception of two»; not just a clever slogan but also a true one. It is better to play and hear twelve strings rather than six. The music, in this way, «breathes» more freely, the «voices» are maintained longer and the sound is richer. Even the arrangements for two guitars, whether derived from piano or orchestral pieces, are more true to the original because one is dealing with two instruments which together constitute a real polyphony.
Two guitars = One instrument
Two guitars are one instrument, unlike any other duet which consists of two instruments! For example when we arrange a piano piece for two guitars, one guitar will take the part of the right hand and the other, the left. The problem in such type of duets is who will be the first to choose the right hand! When dealing with a «heterosexual» duet then the problem is resolved more easily. The right hand (the melody) is played by the ...man!!! From whichever way one looks at it, one player is still dependent on the other. Each member feels half of the whole. For this reason, when the partners of such a duet have surpassed the solist syndrom -what magic! The interpretation of one istrument becomes the proposition of two people. In this way, we can re-write the original slogan: «Nothing is better than one guitarist with the exception of two ...when playing as one».
This record was made by chance!
The music on this record was not chosen or recorded for commercial purposes. On 6/5/90 a recital was given in the theatre of the new Local Conservatory of Argyroupolis. The conservatory's musical director Nikiphoros Rotas had the idea of recording it and therefore gave the task to the sound engineer Themis Zaphiropoulos. Consequently, as with all live performances, one must overlook the occasional imperfection.
For the above reason, the program has the structure of a normal recital. It contains pieces from all the musical eras, from Vivaldi to de Falla and Piazzolla.
A. Vivaldi: Andante
The slow middle section of the concert for two mantolins and string orchestra in G major. This arrangement does not depart from the original except for some basse notes and chords included, so that it could be played without an orchestral accompaniment.
F. Sor: L' encouragement op 34.
F. Sor is considered as the most important composer for the guitar during the classical period. This work is the most significant of his compositions for two guitars. It begins with a slow and quite long first part (Andante cantabile) followed by a small theme with three variations, finishing with a waltz which is rarely played in it's entirety.
E. Granados: intermezzo
E. Granados: Danza Espanola no 2
M. de Falla: Danza Espanola no 1
The most succesful arrangements for one or two guitars have come from the work of Spanish composers. It is a pity that the three great spanich composers - Albeniz, Granados, de Falla - did not write music for the guitar. In spite of that, their work is so admirably suited to the sound of the guitar that many believe that they are authentic guitar pieces. It is not an exaggeration to say that many spanich works owe their popularity more to the guitar than to the instrument for which they were originally written.
The Intermezzo is the introduction of the second act of the opera Goyescas with which Granados confirms his appreciation of Goya.
The 12 spanich dances were written in 1892 and established Granados as one of the most important composers of his country. Spanich dance N°2 is slow, lyrical yet still exciting. It is not the only one arranged for two guitars but is the only one that gives the feeling of having been written for that purpose.
The spanich dance N°1 of M. de Falla differs from the proceeding in its very distinct spanich quality and its obvious dance characteristics. In addition, this dance is quick and rythmic from the beginning to the end.
A. Piazzolla: 2 tangos
If Piazzolla had known how much his compositions have freshened guitar repertoire, he would have concerned himself with this in-strumment sooner. A simular case is that of Heitor Villa Lobos who wrote his 12 studies for the guitar in 1929. In any event, from the moment Piazzolla decided to write music for the guitar he became one of it's finest composers. Sadly he wrote only 3 tangos for two guitars, two of which are presented here.
Anonymous: 2 Traditional folk songs
This record finishes with two traditional Peruvian folk songs. Their melodies are well-known and have been heard from time to time in several arrangements. Here the classical guitar has a conventional style and demonstrates that it is: "the most popular of classical instruments and the more classical of the popular".