WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Amadeus Guitar Duo Play Bach/Busoni, Dodgson, Domeniconi, Zenamon


Release Date: 04/04/2000 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 98338   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachStephen DodgsonCarlo DomeniconiJaime Zenamon
Performer:  Thomas KirchhoffDale Kavanagh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Guitar Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 42 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Together, husband and wife Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchhoff are the Amadeus Guitar Duo; they live in Toronto and have been performing together since 1991. Kavanagh is Canadian and Kirchhoff is German. Hänssler recorded the Duo in Kirchhoff 's home country, in the Munich studios of the Bavarian Radio.

Perhaps, after reading the headnote, you'll already have asked yourself why the composer of the first selection is listed as Bach-Busoni, rather than as Bach alone. The reason is that the Duo is playing an arrangement (by Ulrich Stracke) not of Bach's solo-violin Partita but of Busoni's piano transcription of the same. This, then, is an arrangement of a transcription. Segovia's one-guitar version (presumably of Bach, not
Read more Bach-Busoni) is justly famous. By dividing the music's difficulties across two instruments, Stracke—and the Amadeus Guitar Duo—have not halved its interest. Bach's brilliance still compels, although the loss of intimacy (an effect begun by Busoni) is one outcome of such lavish treatment. Kavanagh and Kirchhoff play with forceful Romantic spirit, making much of opportunities to vary tempo and dynamics. This is Bach with a passion.

Many years ago I reviewed a Biddulph disc of Stephen Dodgson's music in these pages, and used the opportunity to say nice things about it. The positive impression it made continues here with Dodgson's Pastourelle, an imaginary dialog between a "not-to-be-trusted-nobleman" and "a beautiful and clever young servant." (The German, French, and Spanish annotations make it clear that the servant is female.) The dialog includes what sounds to me like some somewhat dishonorable propositions. Dodgson's style is contemporary but nostalgic, a description I also would have applied to the music of Poulenc and Françaix 50 years ago. Carlo Domeniconi's Fantasie fuses Western and Eastern styles together so subtly that one might miss its point if one didn't read it in the annotations. Indeed, it seems to evolve imperceptibly out of Dodgson's work, which precedes it on the CD. (Separating them with the Bach would have been to their benefit.)

Jaime Mirtenbaum Zenamon was boni in Bolivia to European parents, and then came to Brazil. As its name suggests, his Casablanca is a celebration of the Bogart and Bergman film. There is little that is obviously Moroccan about it. Zenamon does, however, introduce two small electrical fans to the instrumentarium, and they produce a distinctive sound—a "super tremolo" as Kirchhoff describes it—as they "play" the guitar strings. Zenamon gets an "A" for ingenuity, and also for atmosphere, which is thick in this nine-minute work.

The performers are technically assured, and artistically, they communicate a wide range of attractive moods and atmospheres on this CD. Hänssler's engineering is superb.

-- Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE [9/1999]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: 5th movement, Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Thomas Kirchhoff (Guitar), Dale Kavanagh (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Guitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Studio 3, Bavarian Radio, Munich 
Length: 14 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: Arrangers: Ulrich Stracke; Ferruccio Busoni. 
2. Pastourelle by Stephen Dodgson
Performer:  Dale Kavanagh (Guitar), Thomas Kirchhoff (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Guitar Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Studio 3, Bavarian Radio, Munich 
Length: 7 Minutes 3 Secs. 
3. Fantasie d'oriente e d'occidente, Op. 50a by Carlo Domeniconi
Performer:  Dale Kavanagh (Guitar), Thomas Kirchhoff (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Guitar Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Studio 3, Bavarian Radio, Munich 
Length: 11 Minutes 37 Secs. 
4. Casablanca by Jaime Zenamon
Performer:  Thomas Kirchhoff (Guitar), Dale Kavanagh (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Guitar Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Studio 3, Bavarian Radio, Munich 
Length: 8 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook