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CD Sleeve Notes by Donald Charles Jackman

Each of the original compositions was composed between 1970 and 1980 with the exception of Evening with You written shortly before this recording. The cycles Songs of the Night and Wandering both find a generous homogeneity of mood as indicated in accompanying texts. Wandering is nevertheless distinctive in its development of theme and mood through vignette: whereas each piece can hardly claim to exist as a separate entity, the progression is a more or less profound psychological study. Eight Impressions in contrasting moods are adequately explained by their titles. Granted the evocative character of this music, the composer-performer generally notes that the titles did not take form until after each composition was finished.

Of the remaining selections, the pieces by Tárrega were composed for guitar. Those by Debussy and Albéniz, for piano, are transcribed by the performer. Due to their complexity and tonal range few of Debussy's works are suitable for solo guitar: wherever transcription is possible, the guitar's adaptability to impressionistic music is remarkable. Only La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin here has an established place in the guitar repertoire, moreover in several transcriptions and keys. The others in all probability are première recordings on solo guitar.

Tárrega is the father of modern guitar technique, especially for production of tone and use of the right hand. His extraordinarily detailed fingering notations are preserved. A significant part of his work is classical and didactic, but the masterly Capricho arabe (`Arabian Caprice') has a typically Spanish flavor. Tárrega enriched the repertoire not only with his own compositions, but with transcriptions of works by various composers. Albéniz, on hearing his virtuoso piano works played by Tárrega on guitar, declared the transcriptions superior to the piano originals.

The cosmopolitan Albéniz founded a national style that influenced not only music in his native Spain, but also composers, such as Debussy, with whom he was acquainted in Paris. Albéniz draws on Spanish folk music, especially the flamenco art that derives ultimately from the Moors. Guitar versions of Cádiz and Asturias have often born a suspicious resemblance to each other: many a transcription seems less an edition in its own right than a copy of another edition. In a refreshing development on familiar repertoire, the present transcriptions hold true to the piano original.

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