2 Scottish Reflections
Craigenroan means Seal Island in Gaelic and is the small island near the family home in Portessie, north-east Scotland. It has always been part of my life, here the lilting melody echoes the sea. This piece was written in 2005 for my uncle Albert’s birthday.
Iona was written for my wife when she visited the island and was played at our wedding. The melody is modal and evokes Scottish folk tunes.
Villa Lobos was a larger than life character and is the most famous composer to come out of Brazil. He wore loud shirts and smoked a cigar. He was not refined in the intellectual sense, but he had a great heart. He wrote many of the most popular Twentieth Century classical guitar music.
The Suite Populaire Brazilienne was finished in 1928. It comprises five “Choro” or songs, here I play the “Scottish Choro” which is such an uplifting positive piece bursting with joie de vivre.
The Preludes were written in 1940 in Rio de Janeiro for the guitarist Andres Segovia and are dedicated to Arminda Villa-Lobos.
Prelude No.1 is a homage to the Brazilian sertanejo a traditional dance.
Prelude No.3 is a homage to Bach.
Prelude No.4 is a homage to the Brazilian Indian.
The composer on his music-\"the best word is the unspoken word, I as you all know, am a man of few words and a musician of few notes. Music is the written that can’t be expressed, I wish that it should seem to come out of the shadows so to return to the shadows again. I find myself forced to find new forms, I believe that my music will never fit in a perfect world.” Frederico Mompou was influenced by the sound of bells, you can hear them ringing in this piece. This one is especially for Julian Ardella.
Fransisco Tarrega (1852-1909)
Tarrega is considered to be the founder of modern guitar technique and wrote some of the most well known music for the instrument. He was central to reviving the guitar as a solo instrument in recital and concerts.
Capricio Arabe was written after a visit to Algeria.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra was inspired by the beautiful palace.
Luis de Narvaez(1490-1547)-Another Spanish composer of the time, his Diferencias sobre “Guardame las Vacas” was written in 1538 and is actually the first known example of variation form.
Diego Pisador(1509-1557)-This Pavana Muy Llana Para Taner was written in1552 for the Vihuela which was an early type of guitar. It was a small, 12 string instrument very popular in Spain at this time. I love the modal harmony in this piece.
Richard Loqueville/Julian Cowie-Puisque Je Suy Amoreux Rondeau/Nomura. Not much is known about this French composer. He died in Cambrai in 1418. In 1410 he was harp tutor to the son of the Duke of Bar and taught plainchant to the duke\'s choirboys. When I transcribed this harp piece for guitar I realised that the last chord was exactly the same as the first chord of one of my compositions. So I connected the two and even though they were written about 600 years apart they are somehow linked. Nomura is my wife’s hometown in Japan. I tried to evoke the landscape with the farmers working in the rice fields, surrounded by mountains, the strange, noisy insects and the incredible heat.
Julian Cowie-Crystal Springs-the striking springs in Northern Australia
Haruki- This was written when my son was born. I wanted to capture the innocent moment a life begins.
Trad. Arr Leroy Cowie(1940)-My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose. My father’s magical arrangement.
Trad. Arr. Julian Cowie-The Skye Boat Song
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