El Aleph: 20th and 21st Century Guitar Music
Smaro Gregoriadou’s previous two albums for Delos — Reinventing Guitar, Volumes 1 and 2 — won plaudits from reviewers the world over, and expanded performing and stylistic horizons for guitarists and everywhere. Unlike Reinventing Guitar, which concentrated largely on Baroque-era music, El Aleph sticks t music of particular appeal from the past century, as well as forays into the new millennium – using a number of different guitars that she has helped to develop. While this release’s pieces are mostly for solo guitar, the program includes Smaro’s own arresting composition, El Aleph, for guitar ensemble
– played here by the German group, Open Source Guitars. Other composers honored are Fernande Peyrot, Agustin Barrios, Manuel Ponce, Hans Werner Henze, Sean Hickey, René Eespere and Štěpán Rak.
Piet Koornhof, violin
Bernarda Vorster, piano
Distinguished South African violinist Piet Koornhof’s third recording for Delos highlights (in keeping with the title) virtuoso showpieces for his instrument, both well-known and rare.
In this 2-CD set, Piet tackles some of the most brilliant and technically challenging repertoire for violin ever written. We hear glittering masterpieces by fabled masters of the instrument: Henryk Wienawski, Fritz Kreisler, and Eugene Ÿsaye. On the more rarely performed side, we get highly worthwhile violin treasures by, among others, Glazunov, Kroll, Taneyev, Rota, and Karayev – as well as a particularly fascinating cycle by Eduard Toldrà.
Fantasy and Romance
Schumann: Music for Cello and Piano
Emanuel Gruber, cello
Keiko Sekino, piano
While Robert Schumann played the cello both as a child and as a young man, he wrote very little original music for the instrument: only his cello concerto and the Five Pieces in Folk-style, Op. 102 offered in this album. But cellists, eager to play his wonderful chamber compositions originally written for other instruments, have made successful and alluring transcriptions of them; six of those are offered on this album.
In this, Emanuel Gruber’s second album for Delos, we hear – in addition to the Op. 102 pieces above – cello versions of the Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73; Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70; Three Romances, Op. 94; Evening Song, Op. 85; and Dreaming, Op. 15. All of these marvelous works re ect Schumann’s wondrous lyricism and heartfelt passion; also his hallmark spontaneity and dizzying mood swings.