Rouse: Concert de Gaudi / Dun: Guitar Concerto (Yi2)

Rouse: Concert de Gaudi / Dun: Guitar Concerto (Yi2)

by Sharon Isbin
     
 
Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin is a remarkably versatile performer. Her 20-plus recordings cover a wide range of styles: from Baroque and latin to folk and even jazz-fusion. But more impressive are her efforts to extend the guitar's repertoire through commissioning works by contemporary composers. With this recording, Isbin adds two

Overview

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin is a remarkably versatile performer. Her 20-plus recordings cover a wide range of styles: from Baroque and latin to folk and even jazz-fusion. But more impressive are her efforts to extend the guitar's repertoire through commissioning works by contemporary composers. With this recording, Isbin adds two more premieres to her extensive resume, performing a pair of concertos for guitar and orchestra by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun. Rouse's work, entitled Concert de Gaudi, takes as inspiration the fantastically surreal work of Barcelona's visionary architect, Antonio Gaudi, and a sense of his eccentric, organic structures inhabits the concerto. A Baltimore native and student of George Crumb, Rouse uses Spanish musical idioms as points of reference in his work -- such as the opening flamenco flourish -- and subjects them to distortion and bending along the way, creating a dreamlike musical landscape redolent of Spain. Chinese composer Tan Dun's concerto, Yi2, also has audible Spanish influences, but it melds those with evocations of the traditional Chinese lute, the p'i-p'a, forming an unusual and evocative cross-cultural blend of sonorities. The cultural mix extends to the album's performers, too: Isbin is American; Muhai Tang, the conductor, is Chinese; and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, which performs here with precision and style, is based in Lisbon, Portugal. The contemporary works on this program are a far cry from the inviting, folksy styles Isbin traversed in her Grammy-winning Dreams of a World. But don't be put off by the "contemporary" label: These are interesting and often beautiful works, thoughtfully and sensitively performed. Isbin is a true musical explorer, and we should not hesitate to go along for the ride.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Anne Midgette
There's something about the guitar that draws composers to local color. For Christopher Rouse, this means a "Concert de Gaudí" for guitar and orchestra that opens and closes with big flamenco flourishes, with swatches of bright, romantic orchestral color alternating with glissando effects evoking the organic, unexpected curves of the buildings of Antonio Gaudí, the great Catalan architect. And for Tan Dun, it means echoes of the pipa, the Chinese lute, in his guitar concerto, Yi2, which brandishes a panoply of whispering percussion, against which the guitar notes play like the plash of a waterfall in a Chinese garden.
Gramophone
No superlative would be excessive in describing Sharon Isbin’s performances in this vivid recording. Her work on behalf of the guitar’s present and future remains unparalleled...supported by skill, musicality, dedication and seemingly boundless energy.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2001
Label:
Teldec
UPC:
0685738183029
catalogNumber:
81830

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Concert de Gaudi for guitar & orchestra  - Christopher Rouse  - Sharon Isbin  - Wolfgang Mohr  -  Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Lisbon  - Muhai Tang
  2. Concerto for guitar & orchestra ("Yi2")  - Tan Dun  - Sharon Isbin  - Wolfgang Mohr  -  Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Lisbon  - Muhai Tang

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