FRANCISCO COLL (b.1985): Turia for Guitar and Ensemble, PETE HARDEN (b.1979): Solace and Shimmer for Guitar and Ensemble, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Homenaje for Solo Guitar, ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Evocación from Iberia, JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Concierto de Aranjuez.
Catalogue Number: 01W062
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: If Rodrigo's lovely, perennially appealing concerto presents a warmly enveloping, sunny vision of Spain, then the contemporary works here offer in one case a harder-edged, more mercurial, even violently passionate but equally authentic facet of the flamenco tradition; and in the other, a vision of enervating heat, too exhausting to be comfortable. Coll's Turia sets out to evoke "evoke the light and the respective shadows" of Spain, the title refers to a dried river bed in Valencia, now a bustling, varied cosmopolitan center. The music is unmistakably Spanish in its characteristically modally inflected tonal language, but the exhilaratingly virtuosic solo part is more percussive, utilizing authentic techniques that qualify as "extended" in a concert context. The five-movement concerto is vibrant and thrilling, with a constant sense of dangerous volatility. Harden describes his piece as ‘an impressionist ode to dry, southern European heat.’ It takes the chord sequence that underpins Rodrigo's slow movement, and with the aid of quarter-tone tunings and shimmering, hazy harmonics transmutes it into a static, exhausted depiction of an oppressive, superheated atmosphere that drains energy, too hot for any living thing (aside from some birds!) even to think of moving around in. The conductor's skillful Albéniz transcription is a warm, evocative, atmospheric bonus. Jacob Kellerman (guitar), Norrbotten NEO, London Philharmonic Orchestra (Rodrigo); Christian Karlsen.