Mario Gangi (1923-2010) was among the pre-eminent Italian guitarists of his generation. Born in Rome to a professional jazz-musician father, Gangi graduated from the city’s Accademia della Santa Cecilia and soon followed in his father’s footsteps as both an orchestral bassist (with the local radio orchestra) and a guitarist. This latter career took off in the 50s: Gangi gave several important first performances of concertos by the likes of Petrassi and even Giuliani. A distinguished discography bears testament to a supremely fluent technician whose gifts as a shaper of melody are reflected in these brief songs for guitar on this album.
According to the guitarist Alessandro Minci, these songs explore the most intimate and sensitive side of Gangi’s output for the guitar, combining jazz, classical and popular idioms in an entirely personal voice and one which speaks with the eclectic, cosmopolitan spirit of his age. The album thus makes an essential complement to the Brilliant Classics issue of the 22 Studies (BC95204) drawn from the third volume of Gangi’s influential guitar method. Several of them evoke natural landscapes; others cast wistful glances back at childhood, at the Baroque heritage of his instrument, and at past loves and passions.
This is Minci’s debut on Brilliant Classics. His experience in crossing musical boundaries and linking pop and classical idioms includes previous albums with the Trio Rhapsody, which he founded some years ago. Having studied in Italy, Minci now pursues a distinguished international career and leads the Note Classiche guitar festival.
Mario Gangi (1923-2010) was one of the most important protagonists of the guitar in 20th century Italy. A performer of world rank he also did extensive scholarly work to promote the publication and performances of contemporary guitar works.
Gangi’s compositions for guitar deal with every technical aspect of the guitar technique: scales, arpeggios, repeated notes, polyphony, melodic use of the thumb. The music is inspired by 20th century elements of Jazz, Latin-America, and the European guitar tradition, music written by a warm and deeply feeling person with a passion for his instrument.
Played with virtuosity and obvious love by the Italian guitarist Alessandro Minci.