Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guitalian Quartet: Contemporary Italian Music Makes an Exceptional Program

Contemporary Italian Music for Guitar Quartet
Guitalian Quartet
Bridge Records

The Guitalian Quartet is comprised of four top-flight classical guitarists who perform together with seamless precision. This new release from Bridge presents a wonderful program of contemporary Italian guitar quartet music.

Giovanni Sollima's "Beastiario di Leonardo" depicts the exotic beasts of Da Vinci's imagination with equally imaginative writing for the ensemble. Sollins conjures up swirling wraiths of sound for the shining Lumerpa, undulating melodies for the Alep (fish), busy, bustling chords for the horned Ceresta, and so on.

Bruno Maderna wrote his Serenata per un satellite in 1969 with an unusual score that can be combined and interpreted many different ways. The work has a metallic quality to it with soft, slow sections suddenly exploding wtih bursts of energy. The Guitalian Quartet captures the essence of this aleatoric work in a performance that sounds both spontaneous and inspired.

The quartet rounds out the album with short but well-crafted works by Carmelo Nicotra, Mauro Shiavone, Nicola Jappelli, and Paolo Arca. An enjoyable and engaging album from start to finish.

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