It is not very common to find an entire CD dedicated to the works of a living composer who devotes most of his efforts to composing music for and with the guitar. When it comes to classical guitar, one-composer recordings are mostly cut for the music of late composers, and even then, not quite to the extent they deserve, whilst only a handful of contemporary authors get such exclusive attention from performers. This is why a living composer, who can hardly expect scholars to be acquainted with his music as yet, should warily accept to write liner notes for a CD entirely devoted to his latest works at the request of one of the most outstanding musicians. It stands to reason that nobody else could possibly have access to whatever information it takes to allow listeners to put this music in a proper context. Of course, accepting such a task carries with it the obligation to keep remarks to a minimum and carefully shun any comment about the scores’ praiseworthiness. After all, if they are any good, they must speak for themselves and no self-praising comment could tilt the balance otherwise.
The five works in this CD represent the better part of my output for a three-year period between 2002-2004. Not quite all of it, but most.
Performing the music is Giulio Tampalini, whose virtuosity and musicianship enable him to perform the most challenging guitar repertoire. Here he focuses his attention and care on the pieces I wrote since 2002.
When such young and outstanding performers devote their time and talents to the works of older composers – who could easily be their fathers, or even grandfathers, it is little wonder their music swiftly draws attention.
These pieces are properly showcased thanks to the performer’s dazzling technical skills (which guitarists of the same generation as the composer simply connot master, in spite of their fame). Indeed, no other instrument in the 20th century witnessed such dramatic progress in performing skills as did the guitar.
On top of that, I guess Tampalini likes dealing with which stand out and can be easily traced back to an older tradition. Actually, when looked at from an outsider’s point of view, four of the five compositions in this CD are Sonatas, quite different from each other, however all of these works are evocative.
The guitar is merely a deep medium, and hinting is its most effective way.
(from the booklet by Angelo Gilardino)
Artwork: Gianluca Corona, Zucca Arancione, 2001 – oil on wood, Fornaroli collection