About this Recording
8.573441 - RODRIGO, J.: Concierto de Aranjuez / Concierto andaluz / Concierto madrigal (Spanish Night) (Kavanagh, Amadeus Guitar Duo, Eden-Stell Guitar Duo)

Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999)
Concertos for one, two and four guitars and orchestra


Joaquín Rodrigo is without doubt one of the twentieth century’s most significant composers for guitar. He composed innumerable works for guitar solo and duo, including stunning pieces such as Invocación y Danza and Tres Piezas Españolas.

Of the three concertos presented here, the Concierto de Aranjuez is definitely the most well-known. This three-movement work for guitar and orchestra (soloist: Dale Kavanagh) is one of the most performed concertos of this century, and was dedicated to the Spanish guitarist Sáinz de la Maza. The first and third movements show Rodrigo’s playful inventiveness, and allow the soloist to display sparkling virtuosity, while the searing second movement melody, with its plangent cor anglais solo, is of enduring popularity.

The Concierto Andaluz for guitar quartet and orchestra (soloists: Eden-Stell Duo and Amadeus Guitar Duo) is a celebration of virtuosity and Spanish temperament, and was dedicated to the legendary guitar quartet Los Romeros. Within the three movements, Rodrigo presents a montage of his other compositions for guitar and orchestra. The work is distinguished by immense passion and festivity.

In the Concierto Madrigal for two guitars and orchestra (soloists: Amadeus Guitar Duo – Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchhoff), Rodrigo uses the art of variation, an unusual technique for a concerto. Taking an old Italian madrigal as his inspiration, Rodrigo uses the different variations to illuminate the different facets of the guitar: proud in the introductory Fanfare, melodic in the Madrigal, fiery in the Fandango, lyrical in the Arietta, and virtuosic in the closing Spanish Caccia a la Española. The selection of the Italian madrigal My Happy Eyes is especially poignant, as Rodrigo was blind from the age of three.

Thomas Kirchhoff
English translation by Rachel Schiff

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