Oren Fader is highly regarded as a performer of classical and electric guitar repertoire, both solo and chamber, traditional and contemporary. Reviewing his solo New York City recital, Guitar Review magazine stated: “His scholarship, technique, and intelligent musicianship are plainly evident and the beauty of his tone is consistently compelling”. Reviewing his latest CD, “First Flight”, Guitar Review noted “Oren Fader serves up a nourishing feast of new music…Fader’s skill, particularly his conductor-like understanding is palpable on every track.” In 2009 Mr. Fader received favorable reviews in the New York Times for three different concerts.
He has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. Concerto performances include the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the New Jersey Symphony, David Del Puerto’s new concerto, “Zephyr”, with the New Paths in Music Ensemble, and the Vivaldi D Major, with the Manchester Music Festival.
Mr. Fader is much in demand as a New York City chamber musician. He has performed hundreds of concerts with a wide range of classical and new music groups, including the Met Chamber Ensemble (directed by James Levine), New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Absolute Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Composers’ Orchestra, Argento Ensemble, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Music from Japan, New Amsterdam Singers, New York Festival of Song, Da Capo Chamber Players, Festival Chamber Music, North Country Chamber Players, and Speculum Musicae. Festival performances include Aspen, Tanglewood, Bach Oregon Festival, Deer Valley Festival (Utah), Bard Music Festival, and Morelia, Mexico.
Mr. Fader is well known for his performance of contemporary music. As a member of the Award- winning new music ensembles Cygnus, and Fireworks, he has premiered over 200 solo and chamber works with guitar, including compositions by Babbitt, Wuorinen, Machover, Biscardi, Currier, Naito, and many others. He has worked closely with composers such as Babbitt, Boulez, Carter, Davidovsky and David Lang. Recent performance highlights include two seasons at the Tanglewood Music Festival, performing works of Carter, Davidovsky, and Chin, and tours with his chamber group Poetica Musica, performing in Turkey (Istanbul Festival), Azerbaijan, Gayana, Jordan and Tajikistan.
Mr. Fader can be heard on over 40 commercial recordings, in repertoire ranging from the 16th Century (Dowland) to the 21st (Carter). Recent solo releases include “First Flight”: Ten premiere solo guitar pieces written for Mr. Fader, and “Another’s Fandango”, featuring solo works from Bach to Bogdanovic, produced by Grammy Award winner Adam Abeshouse.
Other recent recording projects include two upcoming Fireworks Ensemble releases (“Cartoon” and “The Music of Frank Zappa”) , and new releases from featuring the music of Milton Babbitt, Frank Brickle, Elizabeth Hoffman, Sean Hickey, David Lang, and Mario Davidovsky. Mr. Fader is active in commercial film as well, recording the classical guitar parts for the film, “Everything Is Illuminated”, directed by Liev Schriber.
Mr. Fader received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase and his Master of Music (Performance) degree from Florida State University. His major teachers include David Starobin and Bruce Holzman. Since 1994 Mr. Fader has been on the guitar and chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.
John Dowland (1563-1626)
1. Queen Elizabeth's Galliard
2. Melancholy Galliard
3. A Fancy
Though renowned in his day as a virtuoso of the lute, English composer John Dowland is best remembered as a composer of songs. Throughout his instrumental works, such as in the whimsical Fancy included here, the marks of a songwriter and accompanist are evident: simple textures consisting of harmonized melody and gracefully shaped phrases prevail. The strong, poised elegance of Dowland's melodic writing, however, often masks rather striking chromatic harmony, quite advanced and unusual for his time. This discordant quality is even more pronounced in the Galliard, a piece which epitomizes the mood the composer is best known for: melancholy.
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998
Written in 1740, ten years before the master's death, the three pieces comprising BWV 998, are among only a few pieces written by Bach for the lute. The work was originally in the key of E Flat Major, a very unidiomatic key for both lute and modern guitar, causing scholars to question whether the work was indeed conceived for lute or for the lute-harpsichord (a short-lived keyboard instrument strung with gut and sounding much more like an actual lute than a harpsichord). Of particular interest in this work are the very long and sonorous prelude and the complex da capo fugue.
Dušan Bogdanović (b.1955)
Six Balkan Miniatures (for World Peace)
7. Jutarnje Kolo (Morning Dance)
8. Zalopojka (Lament)
10. Makedonsko Kolo (Macedonian Dance)
11. Siroko (Wide Song)
12. Sitni Vez (Tiny-knit Dance)
Each composer represented on this diverse collection writes from a strongly personal connection to his own cultural heritage. Native Yugoslavian Dusan Bogdonovic is no exception. The composer's imaginative use of non-standard techniques, such as the percussive "golpe" (knocking on the guitar) heard in the Vranjanka movement and the expressive pitch-bending in the Siroko, vividly captures the sounds of the instruments and voices of village musicians. Like Bartok, Bogdonovic is able to utilize the complex odd-meter of folk dances, as well as their expressive microtonal and modal scalar figures while sounding completely natural in his late twentieth century classical idiom.
Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856)
Though remembered today mainly by guitarists, Johann Kaspar Mertz was considered one of the leading performer-composers of his day and won great acclaim throughout Europe during his short lifetime. The composer's soulful Elegie is a wonderful addition to the literature. Unpretentious and elegant, the piece is firmly planted in the mid-nineteenth century Viennese Romantic style, reminding the listener more of Mertz's contemporaries Schumann and Mendelssohn than of his guitarist-composer predecessors, such as Sor and Giuliani. Mertz's work forms a wonderful bridge between the late classical style of these masters and the late romanticism of composers such as de Falla and Rodrigo. Mertz's piece was not written for the modern six-string, as on this recording, but for a ten-string guitar, his instrument of choice.
John Anthony Lennon (b.1950)
14. Another's Fandango
Disenchanted with the glut of "new sounds" guitar pieces (those requiring the guitarist to turn his instrument into a virtual percussion orchestra), John Anthony Lennon embraces the traditional use of the guitar and its characteristic devices and sounds. The popular Spanish Fandango dance can be heard in the rhythms and textures, in which a syncopated melody winds its way through a flowing texture of arpeggios and pedal points. The only "effect" utilized by Lennon in the work is harmonics, which the composer weaves into the fabric of the work in a wonderfully evocative manner. The result is a very successful and satisfying blend of old and new. One feels the aura of the Fandango and senses its history without being confronted with it directly: the hazy Spanish heat is palpable, but as if perceived through a dream or memory, or as experienced from an outside perspective by "another."
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999)
Tres Piezas Españolas
Though a violinist and pianist by training, Rodrigo is known primarily for his wonderful and evocative works for the favorite Spanish instrument, the guitar, especially the popular Concerto de Aranjuez. In Tres Piezas Españolas, the composer shows his extraordinary ability to blend the history, tradition, and sounds that gave birth to the popular dance forms with his distinctive modern voice. His work enriches twentieth century music with a thoroughly Spanish style and preserves and glorifies the folk forms by presenting them to a concert hall audience. Both the forms (Fandango and Zapateado) and many of the techniques and gestures of the virtuoso Spanish guitar style are evident, but it is the composer's highly personal sense of harmony (particularly in the luminous Passacaglia) that stamps the work as distinctly his own.
This CD is dedicated to my parents, Laurance and Yael Fader.
Special thanks to my teachers: David Starobin, Bruce Holzman, and Jeff Israel.
Additional thanks to Adam Abeshouse, Bill Anderson, Bradley Colten, Brian Coughlin, The Fader Family, Kevin Gallagher, Diana Halperin, Todd Harris, Thomas Humphrey, Marco Oppedisano, Paul Sobel, Martin Sola, and Josh Taylor.
Produced and Engineered by Adam Abeshouse
Edited by Silas Brown and Adam Abeshouse
Mastered by Adam Abeshouse
Recorded January 14-16, 2002
Guitar: 1986 Thomas Humphrey Millennium
Artist photo by Nick Granito
Program notes by Brian Coughlin
CD design by Bettina Utz at Baby Blue
© 2003 Oren Fader