Asturiano Spain, with its provocative dance idioms and gypsy lore, has for composers an allure that crosses international boundaries and spans virtually all musical periods. Spanish rhythms, cadences, modes and sonorities are stylishly evoked by a diverse group of composers in this recorded program, which could well be called Portraits of Spain. The works in this multinational Spanish program receive equally stylish performances here by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Because of its brief history, the guitar quartet as a genre is without an extensive repertoire of its own. But, in the tradition of those earliest musical periods which saw the birth and development of the instrument, the members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet lend their considerable expertise to the task of transcribing and arranging. Typically, early composers of instrumental music specified only which clef or key was required, the implication being that whatever was available would suffice. Or, as Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) put it, the pieces in question should be played by “several persons with all sorts of instruments…” The tradition of transcribing from one medium to another continued from Bach, who arranged his own music as well as that of other composers, through all succeeding musical periods to our own time.

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