Jason Viaux

Season Finale!
Jason Vieaux
April 7 & 8, 2016



Fort Worth: Thu Apr 7, 2016 7:30pm
Kimbell Art Museum – Renzo Piano Hall
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
click for tickets
Dallas: Fri Apr 8, 2016 8:00pm
University Park United Methodist Church
4024 Caruth Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75225
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NPR describes Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,” and Gramophone magazine puts him “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists.” His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. In June 2014, NPR named “Zapateado” from the album as one of its “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (So Far).”

Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressiveness and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of performing, teaching, and recording commitments is distinguished throughout the U.S. and abroad. His solo recitals have been a feature at every major guitar series in North America and at many of the important guitar festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. Recent and future highlights include returns to the Caramoor Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and New York’s 92nd Street Y, as well as performances at Argentina’s Teatro Colon and Oslo, Norway’s Classical Music Fest. Vieaux’s appearances for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others have forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer. He collaborates in recitals this season with Escher Quartet, acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin and Gary Schocker.

Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with nearly 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Ft. Worth, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Buffalo, Grand Rapids, Kitchener-Waterloo, Richmond, Edmonton, IRIS Chamber, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chautauqua Festival, and New Hampshire Music Festival. Some of the conductors he has worked with include David Robertson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jahja Ling, Stefan Sanderling, Michael Stern, David Lockington, Steven Smith, and Edwin Outwater.

Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. His latest album Together, with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, was released in January 2015. Of his 2014 solo album PlaySoundboard Magazine writes, “If you ever want to give a friend a disc that will cement his or her love for the guitar, this is a perfect candidate,” while Premier Guitar claims, “You’d be hard pressed to find versions performed with more confidence, better tone, and a more complete understanding of the material.”

Vieaux’s previous eleven albums include a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1, which hit No. 13 on Billboard’s Classical Chart after its first week and received rave reviews by Gramophone, The Absolute Sound, and SoundboardImages of Metheny, featuring music by American jazz legend Pat Metheny (who after hearing this landmark recording declared: “I am flattered to be included in Jason’s musical world”);and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz, which made several Top Ten lists the year of its release. Vieaux’s albums and live performances are regularly heard on radio and internet around the world, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online around the world, including such magazines as Acoustic Guitar, MUSOGramophone, and on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence.” Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.

In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and he has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.

Vieaux is a member of the Advisory Board of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia.

Grand Overture, Opus 61                                                                                        Mauro Giuliani  (1781-1829)



Lute Suite No. 1 in e minor, BWV 996                                                                Johann Sebastian Bach  (1685-1750)

Prelude; presto


“Drei Tentos” from Kammermusik (1958)                                                                Hans Werner Henze  (b. 1926)



Capricho Catalán (from España Op. 165)                                                                  Isaac Albéniz  (1860-1909)

Rumores de la Caleta: Malagueña (Recuerdos de Viaje, Op.71, No. 6)
(arr. Vieaux)



Jongo                                                                                                                                  Paulo Bellinati  (b. 1950)



Sonata for Guitar, Opus 47                                                                                          Alberto Ginastera  (1916 – 1983)



Always and Forever / A Felicidade                                                                                    Pat Metheny   (b. 1954)
                                                                                                                                                     (arr. Vieaux)

                                                                                                                                      Antônio Carlos Jobím  (1927-1994)

                                                                                                                                                     (arr. Roland Dyens)



In a Sentimental Mood                                                                      Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington  (1899-1974)


Misionera                                                                                                        Fernando Bustamante  (1915-1979)


Program Notes


Grand Overture, Opus 61                                                                                           Mauro Giuliani



Mauro Giuliani was one of the greatest virtuosi of the guitar in the nineteenth century. Although the use of the guitar in mainstream classical music was relatively novel at the time, Giuliani’s playing must have been extraordinary indeed, as the list of musicians that he associated with includes many of the most important of the era: Beethoven, Weber, Moscheles, Mayseder, Hummel, and probably Paganini and Rossini. Some of his most impressive accomplishments include performing one of his own concerti conducted by Carl Maria von Weber and participating in the premiere of Beethoven’s seventh symphony, presumably playing the other instrument that he excelled at: the ’cello.

Giuliani’s career is divided into three periods, according to the countries in which he lived: Italy (1781-1806), Vienna (1806-1819), and a return to Italy (1819-1829). For many reasons, not least of which was the domination of opera- and by extension a popular taste for the grand and the spectacular- many talented Italian guitarists emigrated. These included Moretti, Carulli, Molino, Carcassi, Zani de Ferranti, and Regondi, as well as Giuliani. While Paris was the destination of many Italian guitarists, Giuliani chose Vienna, which had a profound impact on his career and compositional style. It was there that he met many of the leading musicians of the time, and it was there that he first began using sonata form in works for solo guitar.

Sonata form involves the presentation of two themes which initially contrast in key and usually contrast in style and mood as well. These themes are then developed with modulation creating a sense of tension, culminating at the end in a reiteration of both themes, this time both in the home key. It is at its essence a dramatic form and well suited to a dramatic genre such as the opera overture.

The practice of composing an orchestral overture to introduce an opera existed almost since the beginning of the genre. The overture was intended to create a sense of excitement for what was to come, and in the hands of a skilled composer, would foreshadow the drama and conflict of the plot. Some overtures were so popular and self-sufficient that they became independent concert works. Eventually composers began to write works called overtures that had no tie to a larger work at all- Giuliani’s Grand Overture, Op 61 is one example of this practice.

Grand Overture begins with a slow introduction in A minor. Its sense of gravity comes from the use of dissonant diminished chords, chromatic lines, and a pedal on the dominant (a low E) that takes up about the final two thirds of the introduction. This is followed by the main section of the piece, which is fast and in sonata form. Although it is in A major, Giuliani waits eight measures to firmly establish the key, prolonging the instability of the introduction and creating a sense of forward momentum. Long stretches of fast arpeggios make this a virtuosic showpiece, and one can hear an entire orchestra of sound contained within the six strings of the guitar. — Erik Mann


Lute Suite No. 1 in e minor, BWV 996                                                                       Johann Sebastian Bach  (1685-1750)

Prelude; presto

Bach’s works for lute* represent perhaps the single most important body of work in the guitar repertoire. Among these works are dance suites, including the Suite in E Minor, BWV 996. This work, like most suites of the late Baroque, follows the standard form of: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue with optional movements. Bach chose to include the Prelude and Bourrée in addition to the four standard movements.

The Prelude to BWV 996 imitates the French overture. This style gained popularity in the seventeenth century through the orchestras of Jean-Baptiste Lully at the court of Louis XIV. A French overture begins with a slow section with dotted rhythms, scale flourishes, and heavy ornamentation while maintaining an improvisatory feel. This is followed by a fast, fugal section, beginning with one instrument playing a melody which is then imitated by other instruments entering successively. Bach’s slow section begins with a single voice that seems to wander downward, eventually encompassing a wide pitch register. Following this are mostly scalar passages and chords in dotted rhythms. The fast section begins with a seemingly endless stream of voices stating the subject until, at almost the halfway point, the subject is fragmented within a strikingly dense texture. This movement ends, like most in this suite, with a Picardy third- a major tonic chord in a piece that is otherwise in a minor key.

The remainder of the movements are dances. The Allemande’s flowing lyricism offers a welcome respite from the intensity of the Prelude. It too features skillful counterpoint but with a lighter texture. The Courante is in French style, which typically features a moderate tempo, a time signature of 3/2, and a variety of rhythms- as opposed to the Italian version of the dance, which is fast, in 3/4 and with constant eighth-note or sixteenth-note rhythms. This movement is one of the most countrapuntal examples of this dance in the repertoire. The Sarabande is often the emotional heart of Bach’s suites, and this case is no exception. It is a long-lined aria of intense passion. The Bourrée is the best-known movement of all of Bach’s works for the lute. Its two-voice texture creates a lightness and a bounce that eases the listener out the reverie of the Sarabande. It is also the only movement not to end with a Picardy third. The Gigue features voices that alternate between contrary and parallel motion. The A section has many prominent descending lines, while the B section has more ascending lines, leading to the glorious end of the suite on an E major chord.

*Though it is still a matter of debate, most scholars believe that these works were conceived and originally performed on the lautenwerk or lute-harpsichord, an instrument similar to the harpsichord, but which used gut instead of metal strings to imitate the sound of the lute. Erik Mann


“Drei Tentos” from Kammermusik (1958)                                                              Hans Werner Henze  (b. 1926)

Hans Werner Henze (b. 1926-) is among the most prolific and successful of contemporary German composers. He began formal musical training relatively later in life (in his twenties) with Wolfgang Fortner, and his compositional style reveals a unique voice that melds some of the techniques of serial composition with a Stravinsky influence.

Drei Tentos is part of a larger work entitled Kammermusik (Chamber Music). This 12-movement composition (later extended with an epilogue) was written in 1958 for the tenor Peter Pears, guitarist Julian Bream, and 8 other instrumentalists. Henze describes it as “an encounter between Germany and Greece as conjured up by a poet (Friedrich Hölderlin) whose brain was clouded by insanity and who expressed his vision in wonderful but apparently disjointed phrases.”

“Tento” comes from the Spanish term “tiento”, a free-form fantasy popular in Renaissance Spain. These 3 interludes for solo guitar are very commonly excerpted from the larger work. While they clearly exhibit 20th century tonal language as well as the fragmentation that Henze describes, they also feature a neo-romantic melodicism, particularly in the first and third movements, which help to establish their otherworldly atmosphere. — Erik Mann


Capricho Catalán (from España Op. 165)                                                                     Isaac Albéniz  (1860-1909)

Rumores de la Caleta: Malagueña (Recuerdos de Viaje, Op.71, No. 6)
(arr. Vieaux)

Isaac Albéniz was a virtuoso pianist, and along with Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla, is considered to be one of the three greatest Spanish composers of all time. He began his career as a composer of cosmopolitan romantic music. Upon meeting the influential musicologist and composer Filip Pedrell, however, Albéniz’ music shifted toward the Spanish nationalist style. From that point on virtually all of his works were heavily inspired by traditional Spanish music.

Capricho Catalán refers to the composer’s native region of Catalonia in northeast Spain. Long melodic lines spun over a rocking accompaniment create a sense of timelessness and reverence for his home.

Though from Cataluña to the north of Spain, Albéniz especially loved flamenco music from the southern region of Andalusia. In flamenco one can hear the influence of many Eastern cultures, including the Moors (who ruled Spain for about seven centuries), nomadic gypsies (who some believe originated in northern India), and the Jews. As a consequence of this eclectic mix, flamenco music has an unmistakable and exotic sound. Rumores de la Caleta is an example of the flamenco form called Malagueña, a regionalized form of the fandango, from Málaga. The fandango is in triple meter, grouped into four-measure phrases. The Phrygian mode is used extensively, which in the key of E uses all of the natural notes, and in flamenco uses not only a G-natural, but also a G-sharp to make the tonic chord major instead of minor. The A section of Rumores consists of fiery rhythmic passages alternating with falsetas (brief melodic lines). The B section is an example of a copla– an extended melodic passage. As is common in the copla, it modulates to the key of C major, which shares the same scale (without the G-sharp) as E Phrygian. — Erik Mann




Jongo                                                                                                                          Paulo Bellinati  (b. 1950)

Brazilian guitarist/composer Paulo Bellinati (b.1950) has achieved great popularity with his colorful compositions in the style of his native country. The most well-known of these is Jongo, based on a Brazilian dance of the same name which uses 3/4 and 3/2 rhythms and accents over an underlining time signature of 6/8. Originally written for his jazz band Pau Brasil, Bellinati’s piece achieved its greatest success when the composer arranged it for solo guitar. After receiving a first-place prize in an international competition for Jongo, Bellinati also made a duo arrangement for the great Brazilian guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad. Both the solo and duo versions are fiery showpieces that take the listener on a colorful journey through Brazil while retaining so much of the original texture that it is easy to imagine hearing an entire jazz band. — Erik Mann 


Sonata for Guitar, Opus 47                                                                                    Alberto Ginastera   (1916 – 1983)


Of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983), one might say the guitar was in his blood. Indeed, two of his early piano works, Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2 and Malambo for Piano, Op. 7, explicitly quote the six open strings of the guitar, as if tuning up for what was to follow. Yet despite his affinity for the guitar, he never actually wrote anything for it until late in life. Doubtless he was wary of the guitar’s notorious difficulty for non-players. “Although I had been encouraged to compose for the guitar from the time I was a student, the complexity of the task delayed my creative impulse, even though the guitar is the national instrument of myhomeland.”

In 1976, however, Ginastera decided he had delayed long enough. A joint commission arrived from guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Robert Bialek, owner of Discount Record and Book Shop, who wanted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his store. Noting that much of the guitar repertoire consisted of little pieces, Ginastera set himself to write a four movement tour de force. It was premiered on November 27 in Washington D.C. by Barbosa-Lima. Although Ginastera later revised the piece in 1981, it was to remain his only work for guitar.

The composer wrote of his guitar sonata: “The first movement is a solemn Prelude, followed by a song which was inspired by Kecua music (Ginastera’s own curious term for “Quechua,” an indigenous tribe of northwestern Argentina) and which finds its conclusion in an abbreviated repetition of these two elements. Scherzo, which has to be played ‘il piú presto possible,’ is an interplay of shadow and light, nocturnal and magical ambiance, of dynamic contrasts, distant dances, of surrealistic impressions. Canto is lyrical and rhapsodic, expressive and breathless like a love poem. Finale is a quick spirited rondeau which recalls the strong bold rhythms of the music of the pampas.” — Tom Poore


Always and Forever / A Felicidade                                                   Pat Metheny   (b. 1954)
(arr. Vieaux)                 (arr. Roland Dyens)

                                                                                                                       Antônio Carlos Jobím  (1927-1994)


American jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny (1954-) inhabits a rare confluence in the music world: He has had an enormous influence over subsequent generations of musicians while enjoying the respect and admiration of his musical colleagues, all the while experiencing one of the most popular and successful careers in American jazz music. — Jason Vieaux

Antônio Carlos Jobím is widely considered as the most important innovator of the Brazilian bossa nova style. Several years before his collaboration with Stan Getz would propel him to international fame, Jobím wrote much of the score for the award-winning film Opheu Negro (Black Orpheus). This modern take on the classic tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice is set in Brazil and opens with the song A Felicidade and the line that sets the tone for the plot: “Sadness has no end; happiness does”. A Felicidade would go on to be one of Jobím’s many hits and has been arranged and recorded by many artists. The present arrangement by French guitarist Roland Dyens has become popular for its infectious groove and flashy flourishes, while retaining the catchy lyricality of the original song. — Erik Mann


In a Sentimental Mood                                                                Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington  (1899-1974)

A composer, arranger and bandleader, Duke Ellington was among a few who elevated jazz to the status of art when the medium was still young. His contributions would ultimately be recognized with presidential honors, 13 Grammy awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a French Legion of Honor. Among his many hits is In a Sentimental Mood, which according to the composer was improvised at a party in order to calm two women who had become upset. It was first recorded instrumentally by Duke Ellington’s orchestra, and lyrics were added later. The essence of this song can be summarized in the lyrics “On the wings of every kiss drifts a melody so strange a sweet; in this sentimental bliss you make my paradise complete.” — Erik Mann


Misionera                                                                                                        Fernando Bustamante  (1915-1979)

Argentinean composer Fernando Bustamante had a great love for both classical and Latin American popular music. Misionera, originally for piano, falls completely in the latter category, with all of the rhythmic drive and catchy melodies of a great pop song. Its title probably refers to the Province of Misiones in Northeast Argentina. Bustamante’s compatriot Jorge Morel created this arrangement for solo guitar, which has now become its best-known version. Morel includes an almost constantly moving bass line and the use of tremolo to create the illusion of sustained notes. — Erik Mann

Jason Vieaux uses Augustine strings and plays a guitar made by Gernot Wagner, Frankfurt

He is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd.


Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd.

For more information, visit www.jasonvieaux.com; Jason is tweeting @JasonVieaux, and his Facebook fan page is www.facebook.com/jasonvieaux.

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The next session of the guitar orchestra meets 2-4pm every Sunday in room D-208 at Brookhaven.

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Brookhaven College and the Allegro Guitar Society invite nylon string/classical guitarists and steel-string acoustic guitarists with at least one year of playing experience to participate in this community guitar orchestra. Classical, finger-style and plectrum guitarists are ALL welcome!

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