The essence of the guitar is captures in this recording. Although many of the works were not written for the guitar, the Hispanic composers had the spirit of the guitar in mind. The guitar ultimately engulfs the Hispanic culture in its tone and color whether the music is from Spain, Mexico, Cuba or South America. many of these works were actually folk melodies harmonized for the classical guitar. Composers also use traditional folk rhythms and harmonies in their original compositions.
The guitar world will ever be indebted to Mexican composer, Manuel M Ponce (1882-1948). The first four tracks on this recording is his" Sonata Romantica". It is an homage to Franz Schubert and classical in form with some modern harmonies. The melody lines continually interact and turn surprising corners.
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) wrote comparatively little music but what he did write conveys the Spanish spirit better than any other composer. The "Homenaje" is the only piece he wrote for guitar and is in homage to Claude Debussy.
"Will o' the Wisp" and "Pantomime" are from the gypsy opera "El Amor Brujo",
Leo Brouwer is a prolific Cuban composer today. Here are two short folk melodies arranged for classical guitar.
"La Maja de Goya" by Enrique Granados (1867-1916) was written for the piano but is more often heard on the guitar. Like his fellow countryman, Isaac Albeniz,,Granados never wrote for the guitar but much of the music is meant to imitate it.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) wrote many works for the guitar. He took this traditional Brazilian song and harmonized it for viola. Brazilian guitarist, Laurindo Almeida later transcribed it for guitar.
The recording ends where it began with Ponce's "Tropico", a tango that conjures up visions of indians in the jungle.
Much of this music is seldom heard. It's the kind of music that enables you to lose yourself in the rich colors, harmonies, and art of the Hispanic soul.