Platero & Angelus
Two pieces from Platero and I Op. 190 (1960)
Digital EP only
For me, the Italian composer and pianist Mario Castelnouvo-Tedesco (1895-1968) is one of the most important composers for the guitar since Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani. He wrote almost 100 works for guitar and received commissions from the greatest players of our time, including Andre Segovia, Alexandre Lagoya, Almeida Laurendo and Ida Presti. In 1939 he escaped the rise of fascism in Europe and immigrated to the USA where he settled in Hollywood, scoring films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He wrote more that 200 film scores, and taught filmscore giants Henry Mancini, André Previn, Scott Bradly and John Williams. He also wrote for almost every instrument, including concertos for violinist Jascha Heifetz and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.
In 1960 Castelnuovo-Tedesco wrote a major collection for guitar solo and narrator based on poems by the Nobel Prize winning writer Juan Ramón Jiménez’s popular bookP, latero y yo, a text known by almost all Spanish people.
Platero and Angelus are the first and second of the 28 movements in this huge suite describing the conversation between the writer and the donkey Platero, who Jimenez describes very poetically as“ small donkey, a soft, hairy donkey: so soft to the touch that he might be said to be made of cotton, with no bones. Only the jet mirrors of his eyes are hard like two black crystal scarabs.”
While conceived with naration, the music works perfect as solo pieces, beautifully evoking the landscapes and atmosphere of the Gualdelquivir delta in Andalusia south of Sevilla, where Juan Ramón Jiménez lived.
On this recording, made in 2004, I am playing an amazing Ignacio Fleta instrument made in 1961 that I was so lucky to owned for 12 years.
The recording was mixed and -remastered January 2021 in DXD audio format (Digital eXtreme Definition, 352.8 kHz/ 24bit).
Pyramix DAW system with Horus preamps/ converters and Tango Controller. Monitored on B&W Nautilus Diamond speakers.