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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Spanish Guitars Of Laurindo Almeida

Clair de lune
The Spanish Guitars Of Laurindo Almeida
Produced by Robert E. Meyers
Capitol SP8521
1960

Sorry that my current copy/sample (above) is rough sounding. This is a terrific set and I've put looking for a better copy on my want list.

From the back cover: Over-dubbing technique, when employed with taste by a first-rate artist, can open up some remarkably fascinating horizons in the realm of musical performance. Laurindo Almeida has attempted to do just that in terms of reconciling concert keyboard repertoire (the Fall Three-Crornered Hat excerpt is the only non-keyboard item) to the limitations of the guitar. Under normal conditions, the guitarist has only one hand available for spelling out the melodic line and its accompanying textures. To do justice to most keyboard music, he must either have another guitarist or keyboard accompaniment on hand; or he can prerecord his own accompaniment on tape and add the "solo" line to it subsequently. Mr. Almeida has chosen the latter alternative – arriving at composites not merely of two guitars, but sometimes of three, including the smaller alto guitar – thus retaining the full harmonic scoring of the original pieces.

As expanded here in sonority and texture, the guitar takes on some of the solidity of texture that we associate with the piano or harpsichord, but retains the flexibility peculiar to its being an extension of the individual player. In a few instances, such as Debussy's Clair de lune, discreet use of added reverberation to the recording has been used to enhance the over all sonority of the performance.


From Billboard - April 18, 1960: Almeida is truly a master of the classical guitar. His interpreatitaions of "Granados" and "Farruca" are exciting and he achieves a lovely effect on "Clair de Lune' and Chopin's "Valse." Some of the bands are multi-tracked. Sound is excellent.

Falla: Farruca (The Miller's Dance from The Three-Cornered Hat) - 2 guitars
Debussy: Clair de lune - 2 guitars and alto guitar
Almeida: Brazillance No. 1 - 3 guitars
Bach" Our Father, Who Art In Heaven (Chorale-prelude from Clavierubung, Part III) - 2 guitars
Ravel: Menuet (From Le Tombeau de Couperin) - 2 guitars
Chopin: Valse (Op. 69, No. 1) - 2 guitars
Grandos: Zambra (Spanish Dance No. 11) - 2 guitars
Debussy: La plus que lente - 2 guitars
Bach: Duetto iii (From Clavierubung, Part III) - 2 guitars
Chopin: Mazurka (Op. 7, No 1) - 2 guitars
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C Sharp Minor (Op 3, No. 2) - 2 guitars and alto guitar

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