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Salvatore Fortunato : Regino & Eduardo Sainz de la Maza : Complete Music for Guitar : 2CD

R.SAINZ DE LA MAZA: Alegrias; Zapateado; Cantilena; Seguidilla – Sevillana; Scherzo; Preludio – Studio; Solea; Rondena; Cuatro Obras Originales; Estudio En La Menor; Petenera; La Frontera de Dios; Estudio – Scherzo; Canciones Castellanas; El Vito: E. SAINZ DE LA MAZA: Laberinto; Platero Y Yo; Bolero; 3 Stucke fur Gitarre; Preludio; Anoranza Lejana; Confidencia; Homenaje a la Guitara; Homenaje a Toulouse – Lautrec; Homenaje a Haydn; Habanera; Evocacion Criolla; Sonando Caminos; Campanas del Alba.

Salvatore Fortunato

Brilliant Classics 95417 (2 CDs)

The story of the brothers Eduardo and Regino Sainz de la Maza is a fascinating one. Regino was the dedicatee of the famous Concierto de Aranjuez of Joaquin Rodrigo, and he played it in 1940, whilst following his love of the concert hall, and became known as a marvelous player with an amazing technique. This is evidenced by his 22 opuses, 2 of which have multiple pieces within. Immediately you are aware of the very Spanish sounds, the harmonies the emotions, and the beautiful melodies. Many of these works are not well known and they deserve to be much more popular. Of course as he was such a brilliant player, so his pieces are generally very tricky to get your hands around and this might have led perhaps to his pieces not being as well – known as they should be. The opening Alegrias and Zapateado are really fun pieces, with great bouncy rhythms and some lovely harmonies and tunes .The following Cantilena is slow, warm and very emotive, and beautifully captured by Fortunato. The Scherzo has some bizarrely humorous ideas and was lots of fun .I must confess to , myself , not knowing more than a small handful of his 22 opuses, and I was really surprised at just how warm and friendly the music is throughout.

His brother Eduardo however is a different story entirely, both historically and musically. Never one to play live like Regino, he however really found a style that was largely not always Spanish in style but more Impressionist, reminding one of Debussy at times and that area of writing. A number of his pieces are wonderful, exotic, and like nothing else you have ever heard before on the guitar. The opening Laberinto is definitely more in line with his brother’s style and yet still has its moments where he moves away from the typical Spanish idiom. The masterpiece of the set however are the wonderful eight movements of Platero Y Yo, in my humble opinion far better than the other set of the same name by Castelnuovo – Tedesco. At more than 23 minutes this beautiful suite really should be played at more concerts than it is, and known far better than it is! The Bolero has an unusual rhythm at the back of the normal bolero rhythm, and again has a number of quite individual features that set this composer apart. Another that really cates your ear is the Preludio which has very jazz – like harmonies, which mixed with the impressionism is an arresting sound. Fortunato is a wonderful player of this music and he makes it all sound very easy, which it most certainly isn’t. Anoranza Lejana is by all respects ‘Sur le Pont D’Avignon’ , and almost in an early romantic style, and again, quite different to the others. The wonderful Confidencia is captured beautifully by Fortunato and is another standout composition that should be more popular. The three Homenajes begin with the wonderful one to the guitar, with its stunningly original arpeggio sections and then continues with the waltz – like Homenaje to Toulouse – Lautrec, very French – like in style , and end with the very classical one to Haydn, which is almost a Minuet in its feel. All three are beautiful. The almost humorous Habanera with its lovely unexpected turns of harmony is followed by the Evocacion Criolla another arpeggio driven piece but like nothing you have tried before, with a ravishingly original melody atop all the flurry of notes. Sonando Caminos is, as its title suggests, very dream-like for much of the time, full of lovely harmonic turns and a great melody on top. The recital finishes with Campanas Del Alba (Morning Bells) which begins with a tremolo topped by an, at times, whole tone scale melody , before turning into a very sad melody and one of the greatest tremolo pieces , many of you will probably have never heard.

If this review has gone out of its way to tell you just how wonderful all this music is, but in particular Eduardo’s 23 pieces, and it makes you go to Brilliant Classics and buy this fabulous 2 CD set , then my work is done

Chris Dumigan

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