Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Vivaldi - Guitar Concertos (1989)

Victor Alessandro conducting the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra featuring Los Romeros.

A budget reissue compiled from performances originally released in 1965 and 1968.  Because of the age and the absence of liner notes, I can't tell you much about the performers other than the fact that Los Romeros is a guitar quartet, sometimes known as "The Royal Family of the Guitar" — their personnel consists entirely of members of the Romero family. The problem with classical guitar works (particularly transcriptions) is generally the slower movements.  An acoustic guitar can't sustain its notes, which can lead to phrasing problems.  On the plus side, the digital remastering of these old recordings is quite good.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

  • Concerto in D, RV 93.  Originally for lute, 2 violins, and basso continuo, here we have an arrangement for 4 guitars. Tuning is an issue, surprisingly.  The second movement is a lovely work;I'd like to hear it performed a little cleaner.
  • Concerto in A, RV 82.  This piece, originally composed for Lute, Violin, Viola, and Cello, isn't anything special.  It was probably a teaching piece in its day. 
  • Concerto in B minor, Op. 3, No 10, RV 580.  Originally composed for 4 violins, this transcription for 4 guitars is quite good. 
  • Concerto in G, RV 532.  Instead of 2 guitars, this composition originally featured 2 mandolins.  I'd like to hear the piece with original instrumentation, but this is an enjoyable work nonetheless.
  • Concerto in C, RV 425. Originally for mandolin and orchestra.  You may have heard this one before, it contains several similarities with the composer's The Four Seasons.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: About ten years ago, I went through a classical guitar phase and this was one the CDs I bought during that phase.  I was little disappointed in the purchase even though it was inexpensive. Ah well, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

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