Search Manic Mark's Blog

Monday, October 23, 2023

Contemporary Creations For Spanish Guitar - Laurindo Almeida


Night And The Sea

Contemporary Creations For Spanish Guitar
Laurindo Almeida
Capitol Records P8447

From the back cover: The musical literature for the Spanish classical guitar has been, until recently, relatively restricted both in quantity and scope. In the Twentieth Century, primarily as the result of encouragement given to composers by skilled performers of the instrument, the expressive range of the guitar has been enormously increased by new compositions which reflect the musical language alf our time. This album is a reflection of Laurindo Almeida's devotion to and interest in new areas of musical expression for his instrument.

Some of the compositions in this album were commissioned by Mr. Almeida; others were first published in any one of the several current publications devoted to increasing the public interest in the classical guitar. Two of the compositions were composed originally for other media, and were arranged for this recording because Mr. Almeida believed their musical content was particularly suited for expression by the Spanish classical guitar.

All the composers represented are American, a fact Mr. Almeida beliefs to be significant, for to him it suggest that in the mot too distant future his instrument will not be associated primarily with one particular culture.

Alex North first came to the public attention through the score he composed for the motion picture "A Streetcar Named Desire." Later, this score was adapted for use in the ballet setting of the same story. Mr. North is a t present one of the film industry's most sought-after composers. His most recent honor was being chosen to compose two ballet scores for presentation at the Brussels Fair in the summer of 1958. The selection recorded in this album, Ballad for a Westerner, was not written for any particular motion picture. Although its lyle is ironical, and although the melody is faintly reminiscent of many western songs, Ballad For A Westerner is a composition of unusual charm and distinction.

David Raskin has composed music for more than one hundred motion pictures. His creative activities, however, have not been restricted to the motion picture industry; he has composed incidental music to such plays as Robert Sherwood's "The Road To Rome" and Anouilh's "Eurydice," as well as the scores for the ballets "Inspiration," "Mother Goose step" and "Feather In Your Hat." Nine of Mr. Raksin's motion picture scores are in the national archives of the Library of Congress. In this album, the Theme from "The Bad And The Beautiful" has been arranged by Mr. Almeida for guitar solo.

Franklyn Marks is represented by two compositions, Night And The Sea and Dialogue. At present a composer and arranger at the Walt Disney Studios, Mr. Marks had never previously composed for the guitar. Night And The Sea, which he describes as "introspective and impressionistic," is the type of music Mr. Marks feels is best suited for the instrument. Dialogue is programmatic in content. According to the composer, it represents the internal conflict between man and woman – and, as usual, the feminine voice has the last word.

George M. Smith has been associated with the guitar as a composer, teacher, and as a performer. His compositions in this album, The Merry Makers and La Coquette, both fanciful in style and structure, display an intimate knowledge of those particular areas of musical expression where the guitar is most colorful and effective.

Lewis Raymond has engaged in musical activities that have ranged from being an organist in a silent motion picture theater to composing music performed by the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras. The composition Danza, of all the selection in this album, most clearly suggests the Spanish idiom with which the guitar is identified.

The Prelude by Henry Mancini was commissioned by the soloist in this album; the full title of the composition is Prelude For Laurindo. Mr. Mancini studied at the Juilliard School Of Music in New York, and in addition took private lessons in composition from Ernest Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. His most recent activities have been primarily in the field of motion pictures, where he has scored such films as "The Glenn Miller Story," "Touch Of Evil" and "Voice In The Mirror."

Toccata by Jerrald K. Goldsmith is perhaps the most modern and yet the most severely classical composition in this album. The composer seems to have borne in mind the standard definition of a toccata, namely 'a composition in the style of an improvisation intended to exhibit the player's technique." The technical demands made upon the performer in Toccata are enormous, and yet there is nothing that is not suited for the guitar. The composer is presently closely associated with the television industry; among the many show for which he has composed original scores are "Studio One," "Climax" and "Playhouse 90."

Jack W. Marshall is another man closely identified with the guitar both as a performer and as a composer. He is represented in this album by two selections, Children's Album and Three Romantic Waltzes. Children's Album consists of four pieces called "A Tango For Saturday Morning Dancing Classes," "A Song For Sleigh Rides" "A Waltz For Broken Dolls" and "A Lullaby For Tired Cowboys."

Fantasy by Martin Paich is another work commissioned by Mr. Almeida. The composer's purpose was to write something that would be reminiscent of Mr. Almeida's native land, Brazil. Fantasy is divided into two sections. The first section contains a rhythmical pattern, stated in the introduction, which is the focal point of the musical interest. The second section follows without pause and is marked by a lyrical melody set against a tremolo counterpoint.

Laurindo Almeida has achieved fame by creating serious compositions for guitar, by performing brilliantly with some of the nation's most distinguish jazz bands, and by playing with equal brilliance on the concert stage. Hi appearances at such places as Carnegie Hall, Chicago's and San Francisco's Civic Opera Houses, and the Hollywood Bowl have been marked by enthusiastic acclaim.

Children's Album
Ballad For A Westerner
The Merry Makers
The Bad And The Beautiful
La Coquette
Night And The Sea
Three Romantic Waltzes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!