American Music for Guitar & Piano | Brilliant Classics 96089

American Music for Guitar & Piano


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 96089

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 13th November 2020



When they began playing together in 2017, Stefano Cardi and Enrico Pieranunzi went in search of repertoire which would harmonise with their disparate musical backgrounds, that of a classical guitarist with a passion for jazz and blues, and a jazz pianist with a thorough grounding in the classics. They turned quickly to America, both north and south, and found there a well-stocked but little-known library of pieces by composers who moved easily and skilfully between popular and classical idioms.

This unique recital opens with one of Joplinís best-known piano rags, The Easy Winners, and follows it with a pair of waltzes, also in arrangements for guitar and piano. Cardi and Pieranunzi then sail down to Buenos Aires for a trio of tangos by Joplinís Argentinian contemporary, Ernesto Nazareth (1863- 1934). The juxtaposition of Gershwin and Guastavino is more familiar, none the less beguiling for that, especially played with such easy-going charm.

The final pair of North and South American composers is the most ingenious: the Prelude and Waltz from Dave Brubeckís 1961 album Points on Jazz, answered by two of the Cuatro Danzones by Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905), the Cuban composer who studied with Alkan at the Paris conservatoire and played an instrumental part in establishing a classically formed voice for Cuban music.

Most of the pieces chosen by Cardi and Pieranunzi were originally conceived for solo piano, but these arrangements draw out the particular, nationally accented character of their melodies when transferred to the guitar. Listened through in an hour-long sequence, the album takes the listener on an often nostalgia journey through the waltz as it was played and danced and heard throughout North and South American during the first half of the last century.

This album marks Stefano Cardiís second appearance on Brilliant Classics after an equally novel and imaginative exploration of vocal and chamber music by Mauro Giuliani (95813), the pioneering guitar composer of 19th-century Italy.

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