Guitar Double Concertos Showcase Spanish Composers

I was a little surprised when this album crossed my desk. I thought it was an album of concertos for two guitars. Not quite. It’s an album of concertos for two instruments, one of which is always a guitar.

Each concerto pairs the guitar with a different instrument. Each is written by a different composer, presenting three different takes on how to showcase the guitar plus one. It’s a refreshing blend of instrumental timbres and styles.

Miguel Trápaga performs on all three concertos. His guitar technique is virtually flawless (at least to my ears), especially in rapid, complex passages. He also seems at home with the three different styles of these concertos.

Trápaga and accordion player Angel Luis Castano jointly commissioned a double concerto from David del Puerto. Puerto used the complimentary sounds of the two instruments as the basis for his work. Though written in a contemporary style, the work is quite consonant throughout.

What I especially enjoyed was the work’s originality. The accordion part doesn’t sound like Piazzolla, and the guitar part doesn’t sound like Rodrigo. Instead, we get a conversation between two instruments in a cosmopolitan setting.

by contrast, the Concierto de Gibralfaro for two guitars and orchestra doubles down on the Iberian influences. Antón García Abril’s 2003 work is based on folk songs, and it’s just as tuneful and appealing as any Rodrigo work.

Guitarist Teresa Folgueira joins Trápaga in this work. Their two instruments blend nicely, creating a sound of exceptional beauty.

The Concierto ecuánime for guitar, vibraphone, and orchestra is the newest work on the album. Antón García Abril completed the concerto in 2017. The score begins in a serious, post-tonal fashion that gradually becomes more consonant. It finishes in a modernist jazz style, celebrating the vibraphone’s primary genre.

This album wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was better.

Guitar Double Concertos
Garcia Abril; Lopez de Guerena; Del Puerto
Miguel Trápaga, Teresa Folgueira, guitars
Angel Luis Canstano, accordian; Fernando Arias, vibraphone
Oviedo Filamonia; Oliver Diaz, conductor
Naxos

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