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Evening In Granada / L.A. Guitar Quartet


Release Date: 01/25/1994 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3144   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Luigi BoccheriniIan KrouseManuel de FallaClaude Debussy,   ... 
Performer:  Scott TennantWilliam KanengiserJohn DearmanAndrew York
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



EVENING IN GRANADA L. A. Gtr Qrt DELOS 3144 (62:28)


BOCCHERINI Quintet, op. 10/6: Introduction; Fandango. KROUSE Guitar Quartet No. 4, “Folías.” DE FALLA El amor brujo: Excerpts. DEBUSSY Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Estampes: La soirée dans Grenade. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol


I haven’t owned this CD for very long, and perhaps it is premature to review it in the Classical Hall of Fame. Still, I doubt that I will tire of it. After all, I’ve been familiar with the L.A. Guitar Quartet for quite a few years now. The ensemble’s overall musicianship has yet to pall—anything but—and I see no reason why this particular CD should be any different. Recorded in 1992, this was, I believe, the LAGQ’s second CD for Delos. (They now record for Telarc.) I ordered it because I was intrigued by the idea of Rimsky’s Capriccio espagnol arranged for four guitars. The arrangement, which closes this CD, definitely lived up to my expectations. It is idiomatic, and played with heart-racing excitement by the Quartet. The closing section races to a climax so taut and convincing that you might have difficulty going back to Rimsky’s original.


The rest of the CD is just as good. The Boccherini (taken from his op. 10/6 String Quintet) captures the original’s obsessive rhythms—you can almost feel the Gypsies digging their heels into the hard Spanish soil. The music from El amor brujo works surprisingly well without the usual vocal contributions, and not only does the LAGQ nail the showpieces, such as the “Ritual Fire Dance,” it also caresses the tender “Pantomima.” This then, is a vividly dramatic reading, no less effective than any I’ve ever heard. The short Debussy morceau is all moonlight and shadows, and again, so idiomatic that you would never dream it started its life as a work for piano. All of the arrangements are by members of the LAGQ, with the exception of the Boccherini (Jeremy Sparks), the Debussy (James F. Smith), and the “Ritual Fire Dance” (Ian Krouse).


An original work by Krouse, composed for this recording, adds to this CD’s importance. Krouse himself was a guitarist until a muscular dysfunction affected his right hand, but he remains an important composer, and “Folías” is an awfully impressive work. It is based on the centuries-old Follia theme, which rivals Paganini’s 24th Caprice in its fecundity. His “Folías” is a sort of meta-variation on the theme itself, and on its other variations. What Krouse has done with the material is always exciting, and in its edginess, close to the spirit of the original. (After all, follia signifies madness.)


Every guitarist or guitar ensemble is expected to do a Spanish album—it’s against the law not to!—and it is to the LAGQ’s credit that they did theirs without clichés or gimmicks. The playing has a precision that is apparent to non-guitarists as well, and a drive that cannot fail to appeal to everyone. Furthermore, Delos’s engineering is superbly immediate—very much in the demonstration class. The LAGQ was formed in 1980 under the direction of mentor and guitarist Pepe Romero, and kept the same membership for 26 years. The four guitarists heard here are Scott Tennant, William Kanengiser, John Dearman, and Andrew York. (In 2006, York left and was replaced by Matthew Greif.)


Even if classical guitar CDs leave you cold, you must hear this.


FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola, and 2 Cellos in D major, Op. 10 no 6/G 270: Fandango by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Scott Tennant (Guitar), William Kanengiser (Guitar), John Dearman (Guitar),
Andrew York (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Spain 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Venue:  First Congregational Church of L.A. 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Guitar no 4 "Folias" by Ian Krouse
Performer:  Scott Tennant (Guitar), Andrew York (Guitar), John Dearman (Guitar),
William Kanengiser (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Venue:  First Congregational Church of L.A. 
Length: 15 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3.
El amor brujo by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  John Dearman (Guitar), Andrew York (Guitar), Scott Tennant (Guitar),
William Kanengiser (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1915; Spain 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Venue:  First Congregational Church of L.A. 
Length: 21 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 2, La soirée dans Grenade by Claude Debussy
Performer:  John Dearman (Guitar), Andrew York (Guitar), William Kanengiser (Guitar),
Scott Tennant (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Venue:  First Congregational Church of L.A. 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
5.
Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Scott Tennant (Guitar), William Kanengiser (Guitar), John Dearman (Guitar),
Andrew York (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Venue:  First Congregational Church of L.A. 
Length: 14 Minutes 31 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 An Absolute Classic! June 21, 2014 By bess holloway (Boulder, CO) See All My Reviews "This disc has now been available for twenty years, and well deserves the designation, A Classic. I've owned mine for nearly that long, and it still enchants as it did from the beginning. To be shared with all those you know who love music!" Report Abuse
 Near Perfect Evocation of Southern Spain August 19, 2013 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Although this recording was made in Los Angeles, the listener will have no trouble envisioning an evening guitar concert in one of the inner gardens of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The LA Guitar Quartet has put together a wonderfully conceived collection of pieces transcribed for guitar. I suspect the ulterior motive here was to demonstrate the color and fascination of Spanish musical culture, including works by non-Spaniards who have fallen in love with the Iberian Peninsula. If this was the LA Guitar's purpose, they have succeeded, probably beyond their wildest dreams. Only one piece is by a true Spaniard- Manuel de Falla's ballet El amor brujo. The Italian Luigi Boccherini, the American Ian Krouse, the Frenchman Claude Debussy, and the Russian Rimsky-Korsakov, all had highly evocative things to say about Spain, and their impressions are brought vividly to life in some of the finest guitar playing you are likely to hear. The various works on this superb disk all fit together very well, and the result is a guitar lover's dream. I submit that this thoroughly enjoyable guitar recital will be a delight to any classical music lover, not just guitar afficionados. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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