About this Recording
8.573977 - DOMENICONI, C.: Concerto Mediterraneo / Chaconne / Trilogy / Toccata in Blue / Oyun (Amadeus Guitar Duo, Piollet, Malát)

Carlo DOMENICONI (b. 1947)
Concerto Mediterraneo, Op. 67 • Oyun • Trilogy • Toccata in blue • Chaconne

Concerto Mediterraneo, Op. 67
for two guitars and large orchestra

The longing to live in a world in which nature is respected and its beauty recognised as vital to human life prompted Carlo Domeniconi to compose a concerto for two guitars and orchestra. His experience of witnessing the degradation of the Mediterranean Sea, its coastal environments and marine habitats, awakened in him the need to write music that is above all ‘beautiful and free from poisons’. Domeniconi is aware that he is thereby conveying only an apparent solution, a dream, yet he believes in the reality of desire. Although he has lived in Berlin for many years, the composer, who was born in 1947 in Cesena in Northern Italy, retains a close relationship with the culture of the Mediterranean. He spent three years in Turkey and has taught classical guitar at the conservatory in Istanbul. Many of his works make reference more or less directly to the traditions and customs of Mediterranean culture.

The writing of the solo parts for two guitars is inevitably suggested by the geographical association with a cultural region where plucked instruments (guitars, oud, saz, bouzouki) have a distinctive musical function. Formally, the work follows the traditional concerto structure with two faster outer movements.

The Concerto Mediterraneo was premiered on 27 May 1994 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin by the Amadeus Guitar Duo. The performance on this recording is by the Staatskapelle Halle, conducted by Marc Piollet.

for two guitars and string orchestra

In Turkish, Oyun means ‘game’ or ‘dance’. This concerto for two guitars and string orchestra consists of four short movements, the first of which serves as an introduction. The following three movements correspond to the classical model of fast-slow-fast, although the final movement Con fuoco acquires its tempo not so much through speed as through force. The slow middle movement is the most ‘Western’ of the three: here harmony plays a very important role. The first movement is a true hybrid, bearing characteristics of both cultures.

Oyun was premiered on 5 June 2001 at Heidelberg Castle by the Amadeus Guitar Duo together with the Mannheim Kurpfälzisches Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jiří Malát.

Trilogy for guitar solo

Trilogy originated as an improvisation by the composer, who enjoys an international reputation as a guitarist. The work demands an unusual tuning of the six strings of the guitar: C–G–D–A–B–D (normal tuning: E–A–D–G– B–E), which gives it a particularly deep, warm and floating tone. The piece was scored by the composer only in fragments and demands from interpreters a great deal of imaginative improvisation.

Toccata in blue
for guitar solo

Toccata in blue is an extremely virtuosic piece, full of energy, melancholy and pensiveness. It reflects, according to the composer, the striking characteristics of the dedicatee, Dale Kavanagh, and appears to be tailor-made for her, both technically and musically. The work, composed in ABA form, begins with an ascending bass scale, reminiscent of boogiewoogie, an allusion to the North American roots of the interpreter, while the middle part also contains motifs of American blues.

for guitar solo

Of his Chaconne based on Bach, the composer writes: ‘Among the many transcriptions for guitar, the Chaconne from the D minor Partita, BWV 1004 for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach has a special place. The present piece is by no means meant to be an alternative. It arose from the same need as do all my compositions for guitar: to give this instrument a new work. “My” Chaconne consists of predominantly the same rhythms, the same harmonies and number of variations as Bach’s. It is, so to speak, the Bach Chaconne with interchanged notes. This composition fits into no pigeon hole, and I am certain it will delight some musicians (first of all Dale Kavanagh, who witnessed its emergence and strengthened me in the resolve to write it), but also perhaps irritate many. In the latter case, I would like to apologise and ask for their understanding.’

Thomas-Friedrich Kirchhoff
Translation: Jonathan Uhlaner

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