Notes and Editorial Reviews
La nuit de Bordeaux.
Imprecación de Tindaya.
Partita de Espejos. Tapices y Disparates
Marcello Fantoni (gtr); Quartetto Archimia;
Davide Gandino (fl);
Stefano Sanzogni (gtr);
Piercarlo Sacco (vn)
DYNAMIC 7664 (67:32)
Tomás Marco (b. 1942) is one of the most interesting Spanish composers working today. While he writes in many genres including the symphony––I recently reviewed a Naxos disc of his symphonies Nos. 2, 8, and 9 (
36:2)––perhaps his most personal achievement lies in the area of guitar music, where he has taken the typical elements of the flamenco-based style, fused them with a contemporary notion of form, expanded the possibilities of texture, and produced an individual yet unmistakably Iberian body of work. His output for guitar includes solo pieces, three concertos, and chamber music––of which this new disc gives us a sample, consisting of four pieces for various combinations (and one solo work) written over an 11-year period from 1995 to 2005.
Marco often deals in small thematic and/or rhythmic fragments, which he uses as structural building blocks. This is the case with the short
Imprecación de Tindaya
for flute and piano, where the wispy, imitative phrases only begin to cohere in the final section. The same approach pervades the opening of
La nuit de Bordeaux
for guitar and string quartet (2000), based on an etching by Goya, and a substantial work at nearly 19 minutes. The string quartet throws fragmentary motifs around––often creating abrasive harmonies–––for the first three-and-a-half minutes before the guitar enters to bring warmth to the texture. From then on the themes are subject to a more traditional kind of variation, culminating in an expressive and noble chorale. Marco writes in the booklet note of wanting to emulate Goya’s “clarity of line,” and he does so in all the works on this program.
The Partita (for solo guitar) and
(for three guitars) use strumming textures as the basic structural blocks, with the latter work (inspired by Lorca’s poetry) displaying greater sonic variety. In this piece Marco’s harmony is more tonal than elsewhere, and he makes evocative use of effects like high harmonics, for instance in the second movement, “Muerte de perfil.”
Tapices y Disparates
(Tapestries and Follies) returns to Goya, and was inspired by the artist’s tapestries. Marco uses rapid figuration to convey a sense of spinning, and indeed the violin part is as virtuosic as the guitar part, providing much of the rhythmic impetus.
This varied program is well played by these Italian musicians, although I imagine a violinist like Gidon Kremer would bring a more bracing attack to
Tapices y Disparates
. Fantoni is definitely the star of the show; his technique and musicianship are highly impressive. Sound is close but not too dry––and, as I have said elsewhere, clarity is something of a necessity in Marco’s music. Recommended to those wanting to explore the scope of the Spanish guitar repertoire.
FANFARE: Phillip Scott
Works on This Recording
La Nuit De Bordeaux by Tomás Marco
Marcello Fantoni (Guitar)
Verde Viento by Tomás Marco
Stefano Sanzogni (Guitar),
Marcello Fantoni (Guitar),
Marco Ramelli (Guitar)
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