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Classical Guitar Magazine Winter 2017

Classical Guitar Magazine Winter 2017


Eos Guitar Quartet: Live
EOS Guitar Quartet, Musikkollegium
Winterthur (Leo Brouwer, conductor)
Eos Guitar Edition
Swiss quartet, orchestra shine on
Gismonti and Towner
Guitars and orchestras do mix, and here to
reinforce that statement is a brilliant example
of strings, bowed and plucked, emanating
from the heart of Switzerland by that
country’s “oldest” orchestra (formed 1875)
and the relatively newer (but celebrating
25 years of performing) Eos Guitar Quartet,
whose members are Julio Azcano (replacing
original member Martin Pirktl in 2013), Marcel
Ege, David Sautter, and Michael Winkler.
It is a sumptuous menu. With Leo Brouwer
as guest conductor, we have the stunning
Gismontiana, Brouwer’s arrangements
of six of Egberto Gismonti’s most distinctive
pieces: Frevo, Água e Vinho, Baião Malandro,
A Fala da Paixão, Cadenza, and Loro. The
eight hands of the quartet swirl among the
maelstrom of the orchestra—often manic,
then playful and suddenly plaintively lyrical;
Gismonti’s distinctive music, defying easy
categorization, is consistently joyous.
A world premiere delights—a piece
dedicated to the Eos Guitar Quartet titled
Confl uence, by Ralph Towner, a record-label
mate of Gismonti’s, who helped to shape the
distinctive sound of Manfred Eicher’s ECM
records from the company’s earliest days.
The three movements—“Waltz,” “Slow,” and
“Allegro”—make for a substantial work at
just under 20 minutes. Towner’s idiomatic
sound world is explored here in dark hues
of musical mystery. Always accessible but
not “easy,” Towner never fails to take the ear
and mind on a captivating journey.
Recommended! —TP

Classical Guitar

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