Artist(s): Nexus Guitar Quartet: Paolo Bontempi, Roberto Fabbri, Leonardo Gallucci, Luigi Sini
In this cd, two phenomena intersect in the musical reality of today. There is, above all, the discovery of the guitar. The instrument of Sor and Giuliani seemed to be destined almost exclusively to folk music or popular music and had very few illustrious exceptions in the XIX century. During the last decades many composers have written music for guitars challenging the difficulties of this attempt. One of them, Luciano Berio, faced this challenge in a spiritual way using absurd and enigmatic chords in his world-famous “Sequenza per chitarra sola”. In Italy, first-rate musicians such as Petrassi, Donatoni, Togni, Clementi and Pennisi, have been fascinated by the charm of this sonority, which is exotic and ancestral at the same time. Debussy thought of using it in a sonata but his decease prevented him froln writing it. The second phenomenon is the passion for phonetic metamorphosis. The music passes from one sonorous world to others which are totally different, and it becomes almost paradoxical. […]
Béla Bartok: (b Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary [now Sînnicolau Mare, Romania], 25 March 1881; d New York, 26 Sept 1945). Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and pianist. Although he earned his living mainly from teaching and playing the piano and was a relentless collector and analyst of folk music, Bartók is recognized today principally as a composer. His mature works were, however, highly influenced by his ethnomusicological studies, particularly those of Hungarian, Romanian and Slovak peasant musics. Throughout his life he was also receptive to a wide variety of Western musical influences, both contemporary (notably Debussy, Stravinsky, Schoenberg) and historic; he acknowledged a change from a more Beethovenian to a more Bachian aesthetic stance in his works from 1926 onwards. He is now considered, along with Liszt, to be his country’s greatest composer, and, with Kodály and Dohnányi, a founding figure of 20th-century Hungarian musical culture.
Darius Milhaud: (b Marseilles, 4 Sept 1892; d Geneva, 22 June 1974). French composer. He was associated with the avant garde of the 1920s, whose abundant production reflects all musical genres. A pioneer in the use of percussion, polytonality, jazz and aleatory techniques, his music allies lyricism with often complex harmonies. Though his sources of inspiration were many and varied, his music has compelling stylistic unity.
George Gershwin: (b Brooklyn, NY, 26 Sept 1898; d Hollywood, CA, 11 July 1937). American composer, pianist, and conductor. He began his career as a song plugger in New York’s Tin Pan Alley; by the time he was 20 he had established himself as a composer of Broadway shows, and by the age of 30 he was America’s most famous and widely accepted composer of concert music.
Igor Stravinsky: (b Oranienbaum [now Lomonosov], nr St Petersburg, 5/17 June 1882; d New York, 6 April 1971). Russian composer, later of French (1934) and American (1945) nationality. One of the most widely performed and influential composers of the 20th century, he remains also one of its most multi-faceted. A study of his work automatically touches on almost every important tendency in the century’s music, from the neo-nationalism of the early ballets, through the more abrasive, experimental nationalism of the World War I years, the neo-classicism of the period 1920–51 and the studies of old music which underlay the proto-serial works of the 1950s, to the highly personal interpretation of serial method in his final decade. To some extent the mobile geography of his life is reflected in his work, with its complex patterns of influence and allusion. In another sense, however, he never lost contact with his Russian origins and, even after he ceased to compose with recognizably Russian materials or in a perceptibly Slavonic idiom, his music maintained an unbroken continuity of technique and thought.
Nexus Guitar Quartet (Guitar Quartet): The Nexus guitar quartet was founded at the beginning of the eighties while the members were studying at the Conservatory of “S. Cecilia” in Rome under the direction and guidance of Mario Gangi e Carlo Carfagna. The members of the quartet graduated in 1985-86 with full honours. The four soloist members have won prizes but also judged at prestigious national and international musical competitions, such as “Mauro Giuliani” in Bari, Fago” in Taranto, “Concorso chitarristico citta di Mottola” in Mottola, and “Guerrero” in Madrid. The quartet has appeared on many important series and festivals such as “Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia”, “Orchestra RAI di Roma e Napoli”, “Orchestra RTV di Ljubljana”, “Orchestra G. Petrassi”,”Accademia Filarmonica Romana”, “Associazione Amici di Castelfranco Veneto”, “Centro Chitarristico Veneto”, “Perugia Classico”, “Camerata Musicale Barese”, “Festival Eco e Narciso”, “Festival Dialogo con Madema”, “Festival di Villa Massimo”, “Festival Beffiniano”, “Festival di Darmstadt”, “Festival di Nuova Consonanza”, “Mittelfest”, “Festival Antidogma”, “Festival Nuovi Spazi Sonori”, “Festival Andres Segovia”, “Festival Giuliani” etc. The quartet performs music from the XIX century, from classical music to jazz, and has premiered works of eminent composers such as Aldo Clementi, Francesco Pennisi, Camillo Togni, Ada Gentile, Paolo Arca, Fabrizio de Rossi re, Roy H. Zimmerman. The quartet plays “Ramirez Gran Concerto” guitars.