CHAN 9963

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  CHANDOS CHAN 9963 CHAN 9963 Front.qxd 18/7/07 1:42 pm Page 1  3 English Guitar ConcertosSir William Walton (1902–1983) Five Bagatelles for Guitar and ChamberOrchestra 17:27 adapted by Patrick RussIAllegro assai 5:05 IILento sognando 3:35 IIIAlla cubana 2:34 IVLento 2:02 VPresto con slancio 4:10 Sir Malcolm Arnold (b. 1921) Serenade for Guitar and Strings, Op. 50 4:29 Andante – Allegretto – Allegro – Allegretto – Andante Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903–1989) Guitar Concerto, Op. 88 20:23 IAndantino – Allegretto – Meno vivo – Un poco meno vivo 7:38 IILento – Tranquillo 5:37 IIIAllegro con brio – Un poco meno vivo – Lento – Allegro moderato – Tempo I 7:07 987654321 Sir Malcolm Arnold    G  e  o  r  g  e   N  e  w  s  o  n   /   L  e   b  r  e  c   h   t   C  o   l   l  e  c   t   i  o  n CHAN 9963 BOOK.qxd 18/7/07 1:43 pm Page 2  4 Sir Malcolm Arnold Guitar Concerto, Op. 67 23:49 IAllegro 6:11 IILento – Vivace – Lento 12:53 IIICon brio – Più mosso 4:44 TT 66:18 Craig Ogden guitar Northern Sinfonia Bradley Creswick leader Richard Hickox  121110 This collection ofworks for guitar andorchestra is celebratory in more ways thanone. In its choice ofcomposers it highlights aneat progression ofanniversaries: 2001marks the eightieth year ofSir MalcolmArnold, 2002 the centenary ofSir WilliamWalton and 2003 the centenary ofSir LennoxBerkeley. This is also a celebration ofthe guitar itself as these works represent an approachindependent oftraditionally Spanish andLatin-American orientated or inspired music,revealing the guitar in a coming-of-age phase.Arnold, Walton and Berkeley have all managedto convey in distinct and individual voicestheir own style and character, using the guitaras a conduit. It is the guitar’s soundworld which has become the focus, withoutconsideration ofits genealogy, and such amethod will help to ensure that the modernclassical guitar continues its surging progressinto the twenty-first century and beyond. Yet another element ofcelebration withinthis collection is that it provides furthertestament to the phenomenal legacy ofthelife-work ofJulian Bream. A performer andartist who reached the heart ofmusic-makingin the twentieth-century, Bream is single-handedly responsible for adding many ofthemost substantial and important works to aninstrumental repertoire much in need oftrulyfirst-rate music and was, ofcourse,responsible for commissioning all the workson this recording.The compositional career ofSir MalcolmArnold(b. 1921) falls into two distinctsections. He suffered a breakdown in 1979and it was 1986 before he began to composeagain with regularity. Most ofthe composer’sbest-known works fall into his earlier period of  writing and it is to the height ofthis periodthat the Serenade and the Concerto, recordedhere, belong. Bream and Arnold were closepersonal friends with a shared love ofjazzand late nights, and together they exploredthe sounds and techniques possible on theguitar; the initial result ofthis collaboration was the Serenade for Guitar and Strings,Op. 50 of1955. The writing is gentle andlyrical with a vague Mediterranean feel, andalready the composer is utilising idiosyncratictechniques, including harmonics and pizzicato. The Guitar Concerto, Op. 67  wascomposed in 1958–9 and, like many of Arnold’s works dedicated to friends, is imbued with representations of, in this case, Bream’s 5 English Guitar Concertos CHAN 9963 BOOK.qxd 18/7/07 1:43 pm Page 4  7 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Hisrecordings for Chandos include all three of Rodrigo’s solo guitar concertos, two discs of solo recitalsand the extremely successful Music from the novels ofLouis de Bernières .Craig Ogden performs as soloist and chambermusician all over the world; he often recordsfor film and was recently featured in NottingHill  . He is married to young British opera starClaire Bradshaw and is Senior Lecturer inGuitar at the Royal Northern College ofMusicin Manchester. The Northern Sinfonia , acknowledged as oneofEurope’s finest chamber orchestras,performs major concert series across theNortheast and Cumbria. Recent internationaltours include those to France, Spain, India andGermany. The orchestra is dedicated tochamber music and Northern Sinfoniaensembles perform nationwide. In 2003 theNorthern Sinfonia will become resident in anew seventy-million-pound Music Centre inGateshead. Complementing the Sinfonia’sconcert activity is its wide-ranging communityand education programme, and it also runs anassociated youth orchestra, Young Sinfonia.The Northern Sinfonia’s artistic team includesdistinguished and creative associations withHeinrich Schiff, Honorary Guest Conductor;Richard Hickox, Conductor Emeritus; and JohnCasken, Composer in Association. 6 character along with touches that are pureArnold. Lingering longest in the mind is thebeautiful and gently soaring second subject of the first movement. After the declamatory firstsubject the transition into the second is agentle waft ofcool breeze in summer, adelicate but heartfelt expression ofsimplebeauty. The second and most outstandinglysrcinal movement is an hommage to DjangoReinhardt in which the languid outer sectionsdominate in length while the frantic, virtuosicmiddle section looms largest in the memory of most players due to the fiendish nature ofthe writing. The final movement, in rondo form,begins with a vague reminiscence ofthe finalmovement ofRodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez  , with its canonic solo introduction from whichmost ofthe subsequent material grows. Sir William Walton(1902–1983) andSir Malcolm Arnold were great friends andconfidants throughout their lives and thestrength ofthis feeling is reflected in the factthat Walton’s FiveBagatelles for guitar arededicated to Arnold, although commissionedand edited by Julian Bream. Composed in1971, towards the end ofhis compositionallife, and premiered by Bream in 1972, theBagatelles are superbly Waltonian in everyrespect, revealing the versatility ofbothcomposer and instrument. The five shortpieces, particularly the first and last, containabundant examples ofthe incisive, angular writing with which lovers of  Belshazzar’s Feast  might identify. The other three pieces – anelegant waltz, a languorous, pseudo-Caribbean  Allacubana and a dream-like, delicatelysuspended fourth bagatelle – all revealsomething ofthe influence which theMediterranean climate had on the composer, who began to make his home on the Italianisland ofIschia from 1950.Walton obviously retained a fondness forthese pieces as, in 1975–6, he orchestratedthem under the title Varii capricci  . In creatingthe version for guitar and chamber orchestra,the arranger Patrick Russ has adhered asclosely as possible to the colours and texturesofWalton’s own orchestration while alsopreserving almost all the solo guitar writing of the srcinal version. The result is a work thatcould so easily have come directly from thepen ofWalton himself, and it was recorded with the full approval and encouragement of Lady Walton and the Walton Trust.Like Walton’s Bagatelles, the GuitarConcerto, Op. 88 ofSir Lennox Berkeley(1903–1989) was composed relatively late inthe composer’s compositional career (the onlylarge-scale work written after the concerto washis Symphony No. 4). Much ofBerkeley’s earlymusic is typified by a resolutely tonal biasdespite the growing trend towards atonality inthe musical world ofthe mid-twentiethcentury. His later works were to beincreasingly influenced by atonality althoughhis natural feeling for melody and lyricismusually resulted in some evidence ofa tonalorientation within his music. The struggle to reconcile atonality andtonality is a feature ofthe period to which theguitar concerto belongs. The first movement,in sonata form, opens with a solemnintroduction from two horns. The flute thenpresents the first theme, accompanied by theguitar which goes on to state the next theme.The generally serious mood ofthe firstmovement leads into a languid second whosemain melody exploits some ofthe richesttimbres ofthe guitar’s lower strings. The finalmovement is a festive dance with strummedchords and spiky, rhythmic writing which isonly interrupted by a briefquote from thesecond movement before the cadenza leadsinto a brilliant conclusion.  © 2001 Craig Ogden BBC Music Magazine dubbed Australian-bornguitarist Craig Ogden ‘a worthy successor toJulian Bream’ . He has performed concertos with orchestras including the LondonSymphony Orchestra, London PhilharmonicOrchestra, The Hallé Orchestra, BBCPhilharmonic, City ofBirmingham SymphonyOrchestra, BBC National Orchestra ofWales,Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and CHAN 9963 BOOK.qxd 18/7/07 1:43 pm Page 6
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