To say this recording is a good representation of the history of Cuban music - from its beginnings, to its
current course, and its future musical direction - would be almost correct, with the exception of one
work - "Scherzino del Norte" by Argentinian composer/guitarist Jorge Morel, who has composed works
for such luminaries as David Russel, The Assad Duo, and Pepe Romero, among others. This world
premiere recording beautifully showcases the composer/performer relationship, and particularly Mr.
Izquierdo's knack for being dedicated pieces that become standards of the classical guitar repertoire.
So is the case of composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, who dedicated a piece to him as a thank-you for
championing his earlier music. The piece, originally entitled "Obsequio" was renamed "Whirler of the
Dance," and since its premiere, has been recorded numerous times, and is taught and performed
throughout the world. This is Mr. Izquierdo's first recording of the now popular piece.
Leo Brouwer makes a strong impression on this recording, either through his numerous arrangements of
Cuban classics, or his own works. It is no surprise, since he is the Cuban representative of the 20th
century composer/guitarist. Perhaps Brouwer's most famous arrangement is "Drume Negrita," which
has been wrongly attributed to Ernesto Grenet's brother, Eliseo, the composing credit. It was greatly
popularized by pianist/vocalist/entertainer Bola de Nieve. Gonzalo Roig is considered the pioneer of
the symphony and the opera in Cuba. His "Ojos Brujos" has been beautifully arranged by Brouwer from
its original choir and percussion - or criolla - setting. Brouwer also arranged "El Arroyo que Murmura,"
considered to be the first Guajira (not to be confused with Punto Guajirol), and revered among Jorge
Ankerman's most popular songs.
Although well regarded as a composer and teacher of the guitar in Cuba, Jesus Ortega takes on the
role of arranger in this recording, making fine works of some of the classic standards by Ignacio Cer-
vantes - one of the great composers of cuban danzas in the 19th century. Cervantes studied at the
Conservatoire de Paris for 5 years, under the encouragement of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Ortega also
takes on the great Manuel Saumell, who was a Contradanza specialist, and helped transform the form
into the latter, more popular, Danzon. Los Ojos de Pepa is singled out as the pivotal work.
Jose Antonio Rojas was among the first musicians in the early 1950's to synthesize the work of Ravel,
Chopin, and other classical composers, with that of Matamoros, Rodriguez, and other popular national
songwriters, into instrumentals written exclusively for the classical guitar. He also wrote many boleros
with lyrics that have been recorded by the great cuban interpreters of today.
Of important note is the inclusion or "Perla Marina" in this recording, written by one of the great Trova
song composers, Sindo Garay. Born in the second half of the 19th century, he lived to be 101, having
written over 600 works - and traversed the aforementioned musical changes that have defined what
we know today as Cuban music.