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The Belfort Guitar Duo :John W. Duarte Gtr Music Vol2: Orchestral & Concertante Works for Gtr. CD

DUARTE: A Tudor Fancy Op50; Next Market Day: The Coolin of Rum: Concertante Quartet Op22: Concierto Alegre Op101.

The Belfort Guitar Duo (Antonio de Innocentis and Nicola Montella) with The Belfort Chamber Ensemble, and The Belfort Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gian Luigi Zampieri

Brilliant Classics: CD: 96510

Volume two in what I hope is a continuing series covers pieces with guitar and orchestra , an area that many players/listeners will largely be unaware of , I would think .

His first official work for guitar and orchestra is perhaps his most well – known piece, A Tudor Fancy Op50, with Antonio De Innocentis taking the guitar solo here. All three movements are based on themes from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, with the 1st Movement Tower Hill, based on the melody by Giles Farnaby. The music tends to follow the pattern of development of the themes via divisions , the Renaissance word for Variations and is then followed by The Fall of the Leafe (All in a Garden Green), which happens to be the two themes used in this slow movement, the first by Martin Peerson, the second uncredited. The last movement is a fine closer to the Fancy , and is titled A Gigge, and is based on Dr John Bull’s piece A Gigge: Dr.Bull’s Myselfe.

The next two pieces were discovered by his son in a folder, and were unknown to everybody. A third was unfinished, and therefore Next Market Day , and The Coolin of Rum were the only two that were playable. Both are very English – folk in style, and it is indeed surprising that such a lovely pair of works were never known until recently. The first is played by Nicola Montella, and the second by Antonio de Innocentis again, who also plays the solo part in the next piece on the album

The Concertante Quartet Op22 is a large work more modern in its musical harmonies, and a serious but very effective work .It’s first movement is a Deciso in an almost Baroque style at times. Con Tenerezza is a more relaxed movement and the longest movement of the four. The 3RD Movement is marked Giocoso and its playful quality makes this a friendly piec to hear, which some listeners might know, because it has a second life, arranged for 2 guitars for Presti – Lagoya where it was titled Badinerie.The final Con Brio is light , bouncy and lots of fun, and everything finishes on a high note.

The final work is for two guitars and orchestra , and originally written for the Montes / Kircher duo, the Concierto Alegre Op101, where the music does at times hearken to Alfonso Montes homeland in being at times reminiscent of the Latin music of Venezuela, a portion of which in the form of Antonio Lauro’s La Negra waltz crops up here. The second movement at nearly 12 minutes is the longest of the three by far, and uses vibraphone to great effect. There are a number of speed changes here and the Lauro theme makes a re-appearance too. The final movement is full of percussive elements and with a real taste of the Latin sound again, but laced with some modern harmonies that are however always friendly, never too dissonant, and everything comes to a fine conclusion, and again just proves that this concerto deserves to be heard more often, as it would go down really well with an audience.

The recording and the performances are of course exceptional, as is the music. So if this man’s guitar writing appeals to you, his journey into the world of the concerto and it’s like should be ideal listening for you.

Chris Dumigan

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