Phases - Masterworks for the Guitar.
Leoš Janáček (1854 - 1928)
Arranged by Martin Bresnick
On an Overgrown Path (Series I) *
1. Our Evenings
2. A Faded Leaf
3. Come with Us!
4. The Virgin Mary of Frydek
5. They Chattered Like Swallows
6. Words Fail Me!
7. Good Night!
8. So Unutterably Anxious
9. In Tears
10. The Little Owl Hasn’t Flown Away!
* World Premiére Recording
Michael Tippett (1905 - 1998)
The Blue Guitar - Sonata for Solo Guitar
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 - 1968)
14. Preludio - Quasi Un’ Improvisazione
15. Molto Moderato - Espressivo E Malinconico (Al Modo Dei Canti Scozzesi)
16. Capriccio - Furioso
This CD is my path, a voyage into the unknown, representing a large chapter in my life as I went abroad to fulfill dreams of making my mark in the guitar world. The journey has been filled with joy, inspiration and challenges, and has, at times, been rocky and overgrown, complete with obstacles and surprises. But the one constant has been my instrument. Each piece on this CD is an homage to my past mentors, demonstrating the evolution of ‘my’ guitar.
In 2004, I met the esteemed American composer, Martin Bresnick, who introduced me to the sound world of Leoš Janáček. Originally written for the piano, Janáček’s ten movement cycle, On an Overgrown Path, is brimming with nuances that are intimately connected to the Czech language. The vivid imagery created by luscious harmonies and floating melodies constructs a more simplistic view of the world, a world that is increasingly overshadowed by the complexity of our modern world. There is nothing better, more haunting, more emotional, more sensual, than a simple major or minor chord, and this masterpiece confirms that.
The Blue Guitar stands tall within the group of English compositions commissioned by Julian Bream. This monumental work is intricately written, and embedded with the style and spirit of Tippett. Yin and Yang are explored - Dark and Light, Man and Woman, Order and Chaos, Question and Answer, Real and Abstract. Sliding harmonies spiral towards moments of relaxation and clarity, only to be rudely interrupted by the raw, abrupt sounds of tension and obscurity.
In the winter of 2007 I asked Eliot Fisk, “What is the most insane Castelnuovo-Tedesco piece you have ever played?” He replied without hesitation, “Suite!” So naturally, it was something that I immediately had to do. Suite Op.133 captures you, you are drawn into its charm, its neurotic twist and turns of events, its Affektenlehre, filled with hundreds of colorful opera-like characters urgently jostling for their moment in the spotlight. This virtuosic piece challenges the guitarist, and a cluster of dynamic moods, emotion, and contrast provokes the mind. Enjoy!