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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rodrigo - Concierto De Aranjuez (1986)

Eduardo Fernández, guitar. Miguel Gomez Martinez conducting the English Chamber Orchestra. Recorded August 1985, in Walthamstow Town Hall, London.

A beautiful performance of this classic popular guitar concerto.  Fernández, a guitarist from Uruguay, produces a beautiful tone and the interpretation is the best I've heard.  This is particularly evident in the second movement.  While the piece was written in 1939, it often utilizes a distinct Spanish Baroque-sounding style.  The guitar frequently trades phrases with the full orchestra so that the guitar is never overpowered by the larger group.  By far my favorite classical guitar work.

Also on the disc is Guitar Concerto No. 1 (1939) by Castelnuovo-Tedesco and a second guitar concerto by Rodrgio, titled Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre (1954).  These are nice pieces expertly performed, but the star here is Concierto De Aranjuez.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  Like many people who are most likely embarrassed to admit it, I learned of Concierto De Aranjuez via jazz pieces.  I first heard Herb Alpert's version, titled Aranjuez (Mon Amour), on his 1979 album, Rise.  Then I heard the Miles Davis/Gil Evans arrangement on Sketches Of Spain. Finally, I was introduced to the original version in college.  I've since heard other arrangements, including one for brass band on the Brassed Off! soundtrack.

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