Search - Joaquin Rodrigo, Antonio Vivaldi, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra :: Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Concierto Andaluz; Vivaldi: Guitar Concertos

Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Concierto Andaluz; Vivaldi: Guitar Concertos
Joaquin Rodrigo, Antonio Vivaldi, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Concierto Andaluz; Vivaldi: Guitar Concertos
Genre: Classical
 
The Romeros family--Celedonio, Celin, Pepe, and Angel--helped propel the status of the classical guitar repertoire during the '60s. The father and three sons had impeccable technique and an obvious love for the works of th...  more »

      
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The Romeros family--Celedonio, Celin, Pepe, and Angel--helped propel the status of the classical guitar repertoire during the '60s. The father and three sons had impeccable technique and an obvious love for the works of their Spanish homeland. On this disc, the Romeros clan perform memorable versions of two Rodrigo guitar concertos and three concertos from Vivaldi transcribed for guitar. These are gorgeous works, and the quartet--backed by the feathery touch of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Victor Alessandro--is in top form. Rodrigo's Concierto Andaluz for Four Guitars and Orchestra was originally commissioned from the composer Celedonio Romero, and the ensemble provide a sensitive and lively reading of the folksy concerto. Vivaldi's works are an added bonus, especially the perennial Concerto in C for Mandolin and Orchestra, here adapted for the guitar artistry of Celedonio Romero. --Edward Garabedian
 

CD Reviews

Wonderful Old Recording of the "Royal Family of the Guitar!"
James Yelvington | USA | 06/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

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First I need to make clear that I'm reviewing the regular CD version of this disk. I haven't heard the SACD version, but feel that most of my remarks, except specifics about sound quality, will apply to it.

If you want to taste the guitar-playing delights offered up by the Romero family or if you want a fine historical record of this remarkable musical dynasty, then this is the CD for you! Jointly and severally, the Romeros do their stuff here: Celedonio (the pater familias), and his sons Ángel, Celín, and Pepe. To back them up the San Antonio Symphony, in one of its very earliest major-label recordings, does its damnedest under the baton of Victor Alessandro--with truly fine results.

To capture the event with the fullest possible fidelity available in 1967 the Mercury Records engineers employ the special setup of their "Living Presence" series: a three-channel, half-inch tape recorder fed by three individual Telefunken 201 microphones, augmented here by a fourth to reinforce the center channel. All the fuss clearly pays off in the marvelous sound quality of this recording.

To get the ball rolling Ángel delivers a truly excellent performance of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez." (Though Ángel subsequently focussed on conducting, it could not have been for lack of success in playing: his mastery of the guitar is manifest.)

Next the whole family join in on Rodrigo's "Concierto Andaluz for Four Guitars and Orchestra," a joyous, tuneful exhibition of how great four guitars and orchestra can sound together. This is not heavy "symphonic" fare, but music to celebrate the joys of life and lovely sounds.

Slipping backward about 3 centuries, the same group offer a transcription of Vivaldi's "Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra" from "L'Estro Armonico." This is, I would say, a baroque equivalent of roughly the same spirit as that of the preceding piece: a celebration of the joy of music.

Papa Celedonio next shows how the guitar is properly played by performing a transcription of Vivaldi's "Concerto in C Major for Mandolin and Orchestra." Now we come to understand that the maestro teaches by example.

To close the program sons Pepe and Celín play a third Vivaldi transcription: the "Concerto in G for Two Mandolins and Orchestra," to the beaming approval of Celedonio, we imagine.

Regardless of its historic significance, this CD is of great value for its music alone. I doubt there are significantly better recordings of these pieces anywhere. This CD is a treasure!

I should note that there is now available an SACD disk of this program. Not having heard it, I can't say how it compares with the present CD, which in any case leaves little to be desired in sound quality.
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