Thu, Apr 16 2015, 7:30pm
Renzo Piano Pavilion
Fri, Apr 17 2015, 8:00pm
University Park United Methodist Church
Brasil Guitar Duo, winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its “maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity,” is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings.
An eager advocate for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the Duo premiered a Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra by Brazilian composer Paulo Bellinati in 2012 with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Giancarlo Guerrero. Recent engagements include concerts with the Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras, Ohio’s Dayton Philharmonic and Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.
Brasil Guitar Duo strives to expand the repertoire for two guitars, with Lora contributing works of his own and Luiz arranging both classical and Brazilian music. The Duo performs a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Debussy, etc.) combined with the traditional music of its native land (choro, samba, maxixe, and baião).
The Duo’s first CD, in 2007, was Bom Partido, a CAG Records release featuring all Brazilian repertoire. Two critically acclaimed Naxos CDs, released in 2008 and 2009, contain the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Its latest CD, on the Avie label, is a collaboration with flutist Marina Piccinini that features all of J.S. Bach’s sonatas for flute and harpsichord, as arranged by the Duo for flute and two guitars.
Duo members João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo as teenage guitar students and have been performing together for more than fifteen years. The Duo’s primary studies were with Henrique Pinto along with Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Sergio Abreu, and Alice Artz. Douglas Lora earned his Master’s degree at the University of Miami, and João Luiz at New York’s Mannes College the New School for Music. Luiz is head of the guitar department at the State University of New York-Purchase, and also teaches guitar at New Jersey City University.
Brasil Guitar Duo — Program and Program Notes — 2014-2015 Season
Jean Philip Rameau, Pieces de Clavecin*
David Leisner, Ghosting**
Leo Brouwer, Sonata de Los Viajeros
Leo Brouwer, Triptico
Egberto Gismonti, Selected Pieces*
A Fala da Paixao
Agua & Vinho
Strawa no Sertao
*arranged by Joao Luiz
** dedicated to the Brasil Guitar Duo
JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764)
– Pièces de Clavecin
Among the most important composers and music theorists of the Baroque era, Jean-Philippe Rameau was one of the 18th century’s greatest masters of harpsichord (clavecin) writing in the French School. His modern and sophisticated style took the harpsichord to a new level of prominence by giving that instrument equal attention with others in chamber compositions (the trio sonatas, for example) and developing keyboard technique through virtuosic solo works.
These selections, arranged for two guitars by João Luiz, reflect the composer’s deep musical knowledge. The arrangements bring a new perspective to the compositions by exposing the music’s complexity as two independent instruments are played as one.
DAVID LEISNER (b. 1953)
Ghosting was commissioned for Brasil Guitar Duo by Symphony Space—a multi-disciplinary performing arts center located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City—through the Isaiah Sheffer Fund for New Initiatives. Its compositional seed was sprouted with some spare musical ideas and a little haiku-like poem of my devising:
the air holds us
The work begins and ends with freely floating harmonics, as if tossed about by a capricious wind. A simple tune in subtly shifting meters becomes the ground for variations that begin quietly and become increasingly lively. This leads to a brief but spacious chordal passage that evokes a distant carillon, followed by a fragmented version of the original tune. Then comes a little chorale leading to a return of the opening material, now a bit more spectral.
— David Leisner, New York, 2014
LEO BROUWER (b. 1939)
– Sonata de los Viajeros/Triptico
Cuban composer and guitarist Leo Brouwer is acknowledged as one of the most important contributors to the modern classical guitar repertoire. His compositions range from solo guitar pieces to symphonic works and allow him to develop a unique voice through various styles. His prolific output as a composer embraces different aesthetics, from avant-garde experimentalism to neo-romantic simplicity. In all of Brouwer’s works there are clear references to the traditional dance rhythms and folks songs of Cuba.
The Triptico, originally written for guitar and string quartet in 1958, is performed here in the composer’s own adaptation for two guitars. Brasil Guitar Duo recorded the four-movement Sonata de los Viajeros (Sonata of Travelers) for the first time in Toronto in June 2014, and is presenting its concert premiere in Fall 2014.
EGBERTO GISMONTI (b. 1947)
– Selected Pieces
Brazil’s Egberto Gismonti is considered an important composer of our time as well as a renowned virtuoso on piano and ten-stringed guitar. His compositions capture the essential Brazilian spirit by connecting academic and popular aesthetics with brilliant, powerful melodies. Various Brazilian rhythms, including those of that country’s native cultures and the Frevo, Baiao, Maracatu, Maxixe, and Samba, are a constant element in his work.
This collection of pieces, reflecting a vast range of Brazilian music, was arranged for two guitars by João Luiz under the composer’s supervision.