Category “CD”

OMAGGIO new CD by Frank Wallace

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

OMAGGIO

NEW CD by FRANK WALLACE on GYRE

Omaggio CD coverOn January 6, 2017 Omaggio [Gyre CD 20212] will be released worldwide in digital formats. This 25th recording by American virtuoso guitarist Frank Wallace is now available in CD format at www.gyremusic.com. Featuring an extraordinary 1931 Hauser I guitar, the CD pays tribute to the legacy of Andrés Segovia and the incomparable German luthier Hermann Hauser. Works on this recording were written for Segovia or were part of his repertoire, and are homages themselves to Bach, Debussy, Tárrega, Llobet, and the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela. Wallace, “…a powerful player, possessed of an unfailing musicianship…an almost symphonic range of colors and articulations…” [Kunze, Soundboard], performs works of Villa-Lobos, de Falla, Tárrega, Turina, Mompou and his own piece dedicated to the Catalan composer/guitarist Miguel Llobet, Dreams on a Lullaby.

LISTEN TO SAMPLE TRACKS

Segovia first met Hauser in 1924, beginning a long and close relationship that led to the 1937 Hauser that Segovia played in concert for 25 years and which he proclaimed is “the greatest guitar of our epoch.”  It is now housed at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York City. The Hauser guitar on this recording was built for Segovia in 1931, but was soon passed on to his student Blanche Moyse, later known for her work with the Moyse Trio and as a founder of Marlboro Music. In Wallace’s own words: “These older guitars are vibrant musical powerhouses – their tones are infinitely more complex and haunting than those of newer guitars.” Wallace has long been a proponent of historical music and instruments. He has recorded and performed lute and vihuela music on authentic instruments, and on historic guitars by Panormo, Lacote, Gutierrez, Manuel Ramirez, Soto y Solares, Hauser, Bouchet, Fleta, etc.

Omaggio presents music that Segovia frequently played in concert, including several homages. Opening with the first three Preludes by Heitor Villa-Lobos, they are a Homage to the Brazilian sertanejo (county man), Homage to the carioca hustler, and Homage to Bach. Wallace moves on to what is considered by many the first great masterpiece of the 20th century, Omaggio (Homenaje) by Manuel de Falla. Written in 1920, it was composed for a collection of works entitled Tombeau de Claude Debussy. Next is Homenaje a Tárrega by Joaquín Turina composed in 1932 for Segovia. Written in a nationalistic musical style, it has distinct impressionistic influences. Wallace’s Dreams on a Lullaby is a set of variations on Noi de la Mare, a Catalan folk song made famous by Miguel Llobet’s iconic setting. The six-movement Suite Compostelana by Federico Mompou has special personal associations with the great pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela for both the composer and the performer. Mompou dedicated this work to Segovia in 1963 as homage to the great city itself as well as the festival presented there annually. The International University Courses Música en Compostela were created in 1958 on the initiative of Maestro Andrés Segovia, together with the Spanish diplomat José Miguel Ruiz Morales. Wallace attended the course in 1972 and met Ruiz Morales several years later which led to a performance at Música en Compostela by his Trio LiveOak in 1982.

Frank Wallace tours internationally as a soloist and with mezzo-soprano Nancy Knowles as Duo LiveOak. Robert Schulslaper of Fanfare dubbed him “…a true master of his instrument…His dynamic range is impressive, and his gradations of tone, constantly singing line, and sensitive musicianship confirm his ‘elegant virtuosity’ (classicstoday.com).” Bradford Werner on This is classical guitar says, “Frank Wallace plays his own works with inspiration, determination, and a wealth of creativity. With top notch playing and excellent compositions, this synthesis is a spectacular success. / …he can match the musicality of any player out there…”

One of the most prolific guitar composers of our time, Frank Wallace’s works have been called “contemporary musical emancipation” by NewMusicBox.org. A prizewinner in the 2013 José Fernández Rojas International Composition Competition in Logroño, Spain, he was also a 2015 recipient of the Ewing Arts Award. Tirelessly working to expand the guitar repertoire, Wallace founded and directed Festival 21 in Boston, a celebration of 21st century guitar music. In New York he founded and co-directed the Second Sundays Guitar Series run by the New York City Classical Guitar Society and the Roger Smith Hotel. He has taught at the New England Conservatory as well as various colleges and universities in New England and many summer workshops. Wallace is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with a BM in guitar performance.

Complete program info, photos, videos and audio
Touring schedule
Compositions
For a review copy of the CD Omaggio, please contact wallacecomposer[@]gmail.com

Gargoyles reviewed in CMSA Mandolin Journal

Short Reviews, Volume 3: Recordings of Interest
By Robert A. Margo, CMSA Mandolin Journal
Mare Duo, “Gargolyes: mare duo plays Wallace,” www.gyremusic.com

California-born [Texas-born and California raised] and educated at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Frank Wallace has long enjoyed an internationally reputation as a performer on classical guitar and renaissance lute and as a composer of solo and chamber music for classical guitar. Wallace met Annika and Fabian Hinsche – the Mare Duo — at a concert in Boston in 2008 and was immediately entranced by the sound of the mandolin – and the rest, as they say, is history. “Gargoyles” contains the bulk of Wallace’s music for mandolin plus one piece for solo guitar, “White Albatross”, dedicated to Fabian Hinsche (not on the record are a piece for solo mandolin, “Blue Heron”, written for this reviewer; “My Vital Breath,” written for the New American Mandolin Ensemble; and two arrangements of works originally for other instruments). Joining the Mare Duo on several tracks are Anne Wolf (mandolin), Kristina Lisner (GDAE mandola), Melanie Hunger (mandolin), and Thomas Kolarczyk (contrabass). Wallace’s voice is modernist, rhythmically and harmonically adventurous but never aggressively so; technically, the music often stretches the mandolinist (and guitarist) considerably beyond their comfort zones (a good thing, in my opinion). This is especially true in the remarkable work for mandolin and guitar “The Coming of Arthur” (written for the Mare Duo) and “Night Owl”, a demanding piece for solo mandolin written for Annika Hinsche. Wallace is fond of programmatic titles, such as the recording’s namesake (for two mandolins and guitar); and the beautiful “New England Quartets” (M1, M2, GDAE mandola, guitar), whose three movements evoke scenes and sounds from New England’s past and present(this piece also exists as a quintet for mandolin ensemble, and in a version for guitar orchestra). Also included is a quintet work (M1, M2, GDAE mandola, guitar, bass) “Nocturne”, originally written for Das JugendZupfOrchester des Landes NRW and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.

While much of the music on this recording is of a professional caliber of difficulty, “Quartets” and (to a lesser extent) “Nocturne” is feasible for intermediate-level amateurs. The performers are among the crème of the crop of the modern German mandolin scene; it is difficult to imagine superior recordings of any of these pieces. The recorded sound is also unusually good – lifelike, balanced, and sonorous. “Gargoyles” can be ordered directly from www.gyremusic.com along with sheet music for all of its selections (and Wallace’s other works for mandolin); the recording is also available from www.trekel.de.

Four Extraordinary Spanish Guitars at CDBaby

Buy Four Extraordinary Spanish Guitars CD or MP3 download at CDBaby now.