Gismonti, Brouwer, Bellinati: Brasil Guitar Duo @Delaware Symph

Brasil Guitar Duo © Gal Oppido

Brasil Guitar Duo © Gal Oppido

The BRASIL GUITAR DUO João Luiz and Douglas Lora – are the guest artists in the FANTASTIC GUITARS programme with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Amado on Friday 26 February and Sunday 28 February 2016.

The programme features the US première of Leo Brouwer’s The Book of Signs for two guitars and string orchestra, Egberto Gismonti’s Sete Aneis (Seven Rings) – Concerto for two guitars, winds, and strings, and Paulo Bellinati’s Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra. Also on the programme is Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a magnificent piece by a composer who played the guitar also.

The Brasil Guitar Duo premièred Paulo Bellinati’s  Concerto for Two guitars and Orchestra with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero on 14 June 2012. The work was dedicated to them and they gave the US première in April 2013.

The concerto The Book of Signs (2003) was commissioned by Costas Cotsiolis and John  Williams for the Festival of Athens; it was later given its national première in January 2004 at the Teatro Megaron, Athens and then performed again Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba, Spain in July 2005, as Leo Brouwer explains:

Esta obra fue solicitada por Costas Cotsiolis y John Williams para el Festival de Atenas. Su lenguaje usa los sonidos por su ambivalencia reposo-movimiento. El primer tiempo son variaciones sobre variaciones de Beethoven. El segundo, es una paráfrasis de un tema casi banal en forma de variaciones también. El final es una sonera en forma de ronda. Esta es  una de las obras de obvio virtuosismo, algo que usualmente evito.

Here’s a preview of the Gismonti with the Brasil Guitar Duo playing as a duo:

The guitarists João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo when they were teenage guitar students and have been performing together for over fifteen years. Apart from their championing of these guitar concertos by guitar duos, other recent highlights in their careers include a performance at the 6th Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival, in the José Martí Theatre in Havana, Cuba where they performed with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto in the première of El Arco y la Lira (The Bow and the Lyre) for two cellos and two guitars by Leo Brouwer. Leo Brouwer writes:

When we talk about the history of guitar duos since Presti and Lagoya – the ensemble formed in the early 1950s by French guitarist Ida Presti and her Greek-Italian husband Alexandre Lagoya – we immediately think of two sets of brothers from Brazil: Sérgio and Odair Assad and Sergio and Eduardo Abreu. Now we have the Brasil Guitar Duo, which covers the two-guitar repertoire as broadly as the Assad Duo has done for more than 30 years. In October 2014 the Brasil Guitar Duo, along with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto, premièred my piece El Arco y la Lira, a piece for two guitars and two cellos based on Octavio Paz, one of the 20th-century’s greatest poets and writers. It was astonishingly successful. This is a duo that digs deeply into many styles of music. They have recorded my complete works for two guitars exceptionally well on the Naxos label, putting their virtuosity at the service of musical expression. I have always said that with our best performers, the key element is articulation; the rest is just solfeggio. Pay attention to these two guitar virtuosi!

Havana, 13 April 2015

On the same programme, the Brasil Guitar Duo gave the Cuban première of Brouwer’s Sonata de Los Viajeros, which they had given the US première of in the previous month.

The performances by Delaware Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Amado with the Brasil Guitar Duo will be at the Geipel Center at Sanford School, 6900 Lancaster Pike, Hockession, DE 19707, on Friday 26 February 2016 at 7.30pm and on Sunday 28 February 2016 at 2pm. Tel. 302 652 5577. Tickets

© 2016 Thérèse Wassily Saba

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