”Music from the Time of Cervantes” (arr. William Kanengiser)
Anonymous: Zappay – Jácaras – Romance de Calaynos/Romance de Alburquerque – Al Villano se la Dan – Tres Morillos m’Enamorán en Jaen
Diego Pisador: Romance de Abindarraéz y Jarifa
Luys de Narváez: Diferéncias Sobra Guádardame las Vacas
Antonio Martín y Coll: El Villano – Canários – Diferéncias las Folias
Alonso: La Tricotea Samartín
Hayne von Ghizeghem: Viva, Viva, Rey Fernando
Alonso Mudarra: Fantasia Que Contrahaze la Harpa en la Manera de Ludovico
Juan Arañez: Chaconna “La Vida Bona”
Luys Milan: Con Pavor Recordó el Moro
Juan de Encina: Oy Comamos y Bebamos
Dusan Bogdanović: Six Ricercars of a Theme of Francesco Canova da Milano
Francesco da Milano: Mon Père si ma Marie (arr. Richard Savino)
Ian Krouse: Music in Four Sharps (on Dowland’s Frog Galliard)
”Three French Chansons” (arr. Scott Tennant)
Pierre Certon: Je ne pose Dire
Josquin Des Prez: Adieu mes Amoures
Pierre Passereau: Il est Bel et Bon
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet: Scott Tennant, Matthew Grief, John Dearman, William Kanengiser (Guitar)
Recording: The Bridge Recording, Glendale, CA (July 7-9, 2014) – 58’38
LAGQ Records #0315 – Booklet in English (Distributed by Bucklesweet Media)
Ever since the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) established itself in 1980, their repertoire has embraced all musical styles with ingenious clarity, in part attributed to the use of nylon strings. “New Renaissance” builds upon their established resume by directly and indirectly translating music from the Renaissance Age with charismatic endeavor.
Unquestionably the most notable subject inside Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s works is the chivalric Don Quixote. In 2009 LAGQ created a theatrical hit, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote, musically paraphrasing the Man of La Mancha alongside the sarcastic hilarity of John Cleese as narrator in a sixteen-movement suite. For many, this imagery is noticeably clear, yet it’s quite the treat to be entertained when the music is filtered out of the stage with musical arrangements by William Kanengiser.
Infrequently reaching beyond the three-minute mark, the dossier of scènes minuscules impresses in a sort of Iberian pastiche, lucidly depicting varying episodic moments in the life of the esteemed hidalgo: LAGQ’s roster of composers is well represented in order to provide concise imagery. Dearman, Greif, Kanengiser and Tennant have remarkable chemistry, mimicking a multitude of Renaissance instruments with grand effect. The musical landscape and Monty Python visual reminisces are enlivened by reading William Kanengiser’s concise and informative liner notes.
Dusan Bogdanović’s writings inside the Six Ricercars initially establishes itself with stylistic 16th century polyphony. Based on themes by Francesco da Milano, the foundation quickly morphs into broader, contemporary edging, reflecting Bogdanović’s multi-cultural influences. Never does the LAGQ get lost inside the complexities of such a work.
A close association between composer Ian Krouse and LAGQ blossomed over the years at USC. Moving forward, John Dowland’s Frog Galliard provided the catalyst for Krouse to formulate his own interpretation which originally began as a guitar duet. By 2012 Krouse had rearranged and presented to LAGQ his Music in Four Sharps (On Dowland’s “Frog Galliard”) for four guitars. This musical invention is a special journey for guitarists to explore Krouse’s mathematically complex framework with a minimalist center core. Krouse’s allegiances to Dowland’s melody line never ceases, and LAGQ delivers a compelling and thoughtful approach to such a large-form piece.
Unyielding in their quest to find new avenues of musical approach, New Renaissance is a discovery that is well-articulated and thoughtful.