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Rodrigo: Guitar Music, Vol 1 / Jouve, Perroy

Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570286   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy JouveJudicael Perroy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

RODRIGO 3 Spanish Pieces. Sonata giocosa. Por los campos de España. Tonadilla. 1 Fandango del ventorillo Jérémy Jouve (gtr); Judicaël Perroy (gtr) 1 NAXOS 8.570286 (62:36)

This superb CD is Volume 1 of a projected series covering the entire solo guitar music of Joaquin Rodrigo, which consists of only 25 pieces. This is a surprisingly small number to those who only Read more think of the composer in terms of his wildly popular guitar concerto, the Concierto de Aranjuez , but Rodrigo didn’t play the instrument and, though he greatly admired both classical and flamenco guitarists, it only occupied a small portion of his output.

This is a shame, though, because Rodrigo’s pieces, like those of his composition teacher Paul Dukas, are not only well-crafted gems in a basically tonal style that sounds neither dated nor predictable, but also convincingly manage to blend classical, folk, and flamenco styles in a seamless fashion. The music is also extraordinarily hard to play; since he was not a guitarist himself, he had no idea how well or poorly his written notes might lie on the fingerboard of the instrument, and frankly didn’t care. For him, the inspiration of the conception, the notes that popped into his head, superceded what the poor guitarist was supposed to do with them.

These pieces, each and every one of them a gem, are a perfect indication. Swirling triplets, rough and rapid flamenco strumming with the nails, and delicate yet intricate legato passages consistently engage the listener’s mind and imagination as they sorely tax the technique of the poor player who has the temerity to tackle them. The opening Three Spanish Pieces , whose tonal simplicity belies its intricately varied nature, is a perfect case in point. It was dedicated to Andrés Segovia, but it is quite certain that Segovia never had the technique to play this work properly. Not only that, but since Segovia absolutely loathed the flamenco guitar style, I doubt if he would have played any of it except, perhaps, the relatively more accessible and acceptable Passacaglia movement.

Detailed analysis of each movement of each work would take far more room here than I have available to me, but I should like to point out that Rodrigo was also like Dukas in his understated yet whimsical sense of humor. This is particularly evident in the Sonata giocosa, rather formal (for Rodrigo) in style and harking back to the 18th-century sonatina rather than a full-blown sonata. In contrast to this whimsical yet somewhat formal piece, Por los campos de España (“In the Spanish countryside”) is more atmospheric and mood-centered, alternating single-line themes with tersely rhythmic chords, setting the return of the theme in the first piece an octave higher in its return and following this with an alternating section conjuring Andalusian guitar-playing. A bass melody accompanied by treble chords is followed by an intricate arpeggio section that ends with a dazzling rapid scale across the length of the fingerboard. Wonderful details like these abound in these pieces; one can never grow tired of listening to them!

Happily, Jérémy Jouve is fully up to the demands of this music. He has not only the technique but also the proper spirit for them, which is probably even more important. Not a single moment in any of the various movements on this CD passes by without complete commitment to drama as well as detail. Indeed, one might actually overlook his extraordinary technique for all the dramatic commitment of his playing. Judicaël Perroy, who joins him in the performance of Tonadilla, is equally up to the task. I know I have been critical of other classical guitar records sent to me for review, but if you will but listen to this one carefully, I think you will come to the exact same conclusion if you then switch to one of those I have criticized. This is how classical guitar should be played. Of previously recorded versions of these works, the only ones in the same class were those by Angel Romero on a now out-of-print RCA album ( Por los campos, Sonata giocosa, Three Spanish Pieces ), and the sound quality of the Naxos album is actually sharper, more clearly defined. You go, Jérémy!

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Piezas (3) espańolas for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy Jouve (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Spain 
Sonata giocosa by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy Jouve (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; Spain 
Por los campos de Espańa by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy Jouve (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939-1942; Spain 
Tonadilla for 2 Guitars by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy Jouve (Guitar), Judicael Perroy (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; Spain 
Piezas (4) for Piano: Fandango del ventorillo by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jérémy Jouve (Guitar), Judicael Perroy (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Spain 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Great Recording April 9, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "If you play the association game with a musically-inclined friend and challenge him/her with '20th century Spanish guitar works', I dare say that the inevitable response will be Joaquin Rodrigo. Yes, other Spanish composers wrote brilliant works for Spain's great musical instrument (Turina, Tarrega, Torroba, Sor, come to mind), but just think of Rodrigo's monumental contributions (Concierto de Aranjuez, Concierto andaluz, etc.) Naxos' excellent Rodrigo series has explored much of his compositions for orchestra (and guitar in some of them). Now we have this outstanding anthology of works for solo guitar from Naxos, a recital of glowing virtuosity from guitarists Jeremy Jouve and Judicael Perroy. While I am no expert on guitar music, I think I am on firm ground in commenting that the five works contained here include heavy doses of Spanish aesthetics, as might be expected (folk dances, etc.), but also include elements of what might be called absolute music, with a universal character not automatically tied to the culture from which it proceeds. Outstanding in every respect (performance, sonic quality), this is a disk which guitar fans should treasure- it's really good. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
 Beautiful July 1, 2012 By F. Franssen (Roermond, Limburg) See All My Reviews "This music is for me a beautiful one. I Listened with interrest." Report Abuse
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