Angelo Gilardino, Alfredo Franco, Carlo Francesco Defranceschi, Dusan Bogdanovic, Edoardo Dadone, Ermanno Brignolo, Franco Cavallone, Francesco Morittu, Kevin Swierkosz-Lenart, Leo Brouwer (1), Mark Delpriora, Roberto Piana, Stefania Masala
A rich treasury of first recordings evoking the sounds, folk culture and landscape of the Mediterranean’s rough diamond.
‘Cristiano Porqueddu is a master guitarist,’ says the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, ‘and one of the foremost representatives of the new generation of soloists. He brings sound to life, and then turns it into art.’ Like many of the other composers in this remarkable collection, he has composed more than one piece for Porqueddu and now pays tribute with a piece which draws inspiration from the guitarist’s homeland of Sardinia. Diálogo del Olivo y el Nuraga (‘Dialogue of the Olive Trees and the Nuraghe’) imagines a wordless exchange between two ancient features of the Sardinian landscape, the trees which have provided food and fuel and money for its people for centuries, and the Stone-Age towers which dot the island.
Each of the works here tells a vivid story: Porqueddu’s own Sonata III is subtitled ‘The Rite of Fire’ after an ancient Sardinian legend which imagines Saint Anthony and his piglet descending to Hell in order to procure some firelight. Angelo Gilardino draws on his personal memories of sights and sounds experienced when visiting the island in his Sardegna Suite (including another piece evoking the nuraghe). Francesco Morittu is a native-born Sardinian guitarist-composer, whereas Mark Delpriora is an American guitarist who heads the guitar faculty at the Manhattan School of Music; both have contributed intensely atmospheric pieces, which capture the island’s wildness as well as its sense of isolation.
Born in 1988 in the Italian province of Velletria, Kevin Swierkosz-Lenart is the youngest composer featured in the collection with a suite inspired by three works of the Sardinian painter Giuseppe Biasi, who also contributes the artwork for the collection’s cover. The largest work here is, appropriately, Viaggio in Sardegna (Journey around Sardinia) by Stefania Masala (b.1979). Her cycle of seven pieces reflects on common themes of writing about Sardinia by authors from Lawrence to Gramsci, taking in musico-poetic encapsulations of its landscape, its people, its stone, its dialect and its song. The musical style varies from composer to composer between tonal, neoclassical and modernist, but all are unified by the skill and artistry of Cristiano Porqueddu.
Praise for Cristiano Porqueddu on Brilliant Classics
‘Cristiano Porqueddu's musical projects always succeed in embarrassing the reviewer, by choosing and performing a large quantity of music of considerable value, hardly known or completely unfamiliar, so that the unfortunate person who has to report it (with pleasure, mind you) finds himself at a crossroads: or guilty of the sin of omission, neglecting music that on other occasions would undoubtedly win praise in a different context.’ (Musica, Easy Studies for Guitar, 95828)
‘Year after year, album after album, Cristiano Porqueddu advances a project of musical documentation that will surely remain a point of reference for many years to come.’ (Musica, Novecento Guitar Sonatinas, 95558)
- Cristiano Porqueddu, one of the foremost guitarist of today, is Artistic Director of the Sardinia Moving Arts Festival. In this capacity he commissioned new works to be written by leading contemporary guitar composers and the result is presented in this 4-CD set: world premieres of guitar compositions by Dusan Bogdanovic, Franco Cavallone, Kevin Swierkosz-Lenart, Francesco Morittu, Edoardo Dadone, Leo Brouwer, Angelo Gilardino, Carlo De Franceschi, Ermanno Brignolo, Mark Del Priora, Roberto Piana, and by himself, Cristiano Porqueddu.
- The binding element of all these compositions and styles is the dedication to Sardinia, island of sun, sea and inspiring nature, rich in folklore and music.
- Played by Cristiano Porqueddu, guitar. As a bonus CD we hear a monologue spoken by one of Italy’s most famous actresses, Stefania Masala, interspersed with guitar interludes.