Video: Ben Sollee and Jacob Elementary

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Look what a difference your donations have already made in schools like Jacob Elementary. Thanks to Ben Sollee for helping us spread the word about the good you can do in our community by supporting Classical 90.5 and Instrumental Partners. Go to instrumentalpartners.org to see how you can help kids in our community get the tools of the trade. Everyone deserves the opportunity to play music.

In-Studios: Phillip de Fremery & Trio Harmonia

Trio Harmonia

This week we’ll have two in-studios, guitarist Phillip de Fremery on Wednesday at noon, and Trio Harmonia on Thursday at noon. Doors for both performances open at 11:45am.

Call us, at (502) 814-6565, by Tuesday at noon to reserve a lunch. Both performances are free and open-to-the-public.

Jooyoung Kim is the pianist for Trio Harmonia. Here’s her performance of Rachmaninoff from her solo performance last year.

An Italian Jew from Spain with German in his Name

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Monday’s Guitar Pick featured the first concerto for guitar and orchestra by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. An Italian Jew of Spanish decent, his concerto No.1 was the first concerto to be published after a drought of concertos for the instrument for 100 years. He was a prolific composer of music for the concert stage and for film. It’s suspected that he wrote more film music than has been given credit due to the large demand for his services by the studios. When Mussolini started to target Jews, Castelnuovo-Tedesco (literally “Newcastle-German”) fled to America. He spent the rest of his life in southern California, writing for stage and film. His music pupils included Andre Previn and Henry Mancini. Castelnuovo-Tedesco later wrote a 2nd concerto for guitar and one for 2 guitars with orchestra. Listen to the Guitar Pick weekdays at 10:30am.

This week’s picks:

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco – Guitar Concerto No. 1 – John Williams
Edvard Grieg – Holberg Suite – Arabesque Duo
JS Bach – Sinfonia No. 6 in E Major, BWV 792 – David Russell
Manuel de Falla – Homenaje Le tombeau de Claude Debussy – Eduardo Fernandez
Domenico Scarlatti – Sonata, K.175 – Eliot Fisk

This week’s ukulele pick features the French ukulele player Ukulollo with guest Siwar.

A Lively Dance from Spain

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Every weekday morning I play what I call a “guitar pick.” It’s a work featuring the guitar. It can be as a solo instrument, in a chamber setting or with orchestra. This week I played two works called Fandango.

The Fandango is a quick Spanish dance intended originally for 2 dancers. The more popular fandangos of today are accompanied by castanets or hand-claps. The earliest known form of the form appeared int eh early 1700’s. It was quickly developed into a musical form by the time the two fandangos I presented were written, around 1800. Rameau and Scarlatti were the first well-known composers to use the fandango in their compositions. Fandangos are still be written today as a lively dance piece or as a showy concert work.

This week’s guitar picks:
Louis Moreau Gottschalk – Fantasy on Brazilian National Anthem – Alvaro Henrique, guitar
Cesar Franck – Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18 – Amadeus Guitar Duo
Salvador Castro de Gistau – Fandango – Thomas Schmitt
Edvard Grieg – Valse Melancolique – Peter Fletcher
Dionysio Aguado – Fandango – Thomas Schmitt

My ukulele pick this week is an original song by a very original Miami-based artist, Rachel Goodrich.

A Guitarist Without a Country

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Every weekday at 10:30am I play what I call a “guitar pick.” It’s a work featuring the guitar. It can be as a solo instrument, in a chamber setting or with orchestra. One of the works I featured was L’encouragement by Fernando Sor.

Fernando Sor (pictured), a Spaniard, was born into a military family. Although he, too, joined the military Sor become more interested in music as he got older. He first became interested in music after his father took him to the opera. The interest grew, but his parents wanted him to concentrate on his Latin studies. Sor convinced them of his love of music by writing songs in Latin as set to his own unique music notation (He hadn’t seen standard sheet music yet).

Before he wrote for guitar, the instrument was used manly in taverns. But Sor started writing serious salon and concert pieces for the guitar. After a failed attempt to work in France, Sor settled in England. Most guitarists could not play the intricate works Sor composed, so he had to be his own music’s chief exponent. He eventually lived in Russia and then back in France at the end of his career. He taught a new generation his guitar techniques, securing his works in the repertoire for decades to come.

Edvard Grieg – Lyric Pieces – Peter Fletcher
Leonhard von Call – Sonata for Guitar no 2 in a minor, Op. 22
Fernando Sor – L’encouragement, Op. 34 – Julian Bream and John Williams
Domenico Scarlatti – Sonata, K.319 – Fabio Zaban

This week’s ukulele pick is my friend Ian Emmerson who…well, you just have to watch.