Johannes Tonio Kreusch – PLAYS – VILLA-LOBOS & GINASTERA

RELEASE: 12.03.2021

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Johannes Tonio Kreusch guitar

The sensational and successful recording “Johannes Tonio Kreusch PLAYS Villa-Lobos & Ginastera”, hailed by the French music magazine Classica Répertoire as a “new reference recording since the legendary recordings by Narciso Yepes and Julian Bream”, is remastered and released by GLM Music.

Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alberto Ginastera, as driving forces of the Latin American modernist movement, composed with relative restraint for the “national instrument” of their homeland. In Ginastera’s case, the Sonata Op.47 is the only work he ever wrote for the guitar. Yet both have enriched the guitar repertoire with the music heard here. Without a doubt, the Etudes by Villa-Lobos and the Sonata by Ginastera are among the most important works written for the guitar in this century. In this music, both composers reveal a deep and direct commitment to the culture and history of Latin America and bring tradition into fruitful contrast with new ideas and sounds of their modernist world. Both the Etudes and the Sonata were written in Europe. Thus, one could say that Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alberto Ginastera have gone back the way their ancestors had come in an arduous way when they brought their foreign culture with them to the untouched continent. This meeting of such different cultures, this flickering between supposedly great opposites and this merging of European (avant-garde) music, often strongly influenced by the intellect, with the music of the indigenous peoples of Latin America, which arose from archaic originality, form the starting point of the work of these two composers and find an even more pressing clarity in their works for guitar.

Johannes Tonio Kreusch on Heitor Villa-Lobos:
“Heitor Villa-Lobos has influenced generations of guitarists with his guitar works and has enriched the guitar repertoire in a lasting way. One is mostly familiar with his guitar music from the usual printed editions, the many CD recordings and concert interpretations and might think that nothing really new could be said on the subject. Therefore, it was like a revelation for me to study Villa-Lobos’ manuscripts and discover countless deviations from the known editions. Studying the manuscripts gave me the feeling of being able to enter into a dialogue with the composer, which revealed unexpected new horizons about his music. The manuscripts captivate with their mostly very clear handwriting, precisely worked out fingerings and clarify the many misprints, such as faulty chords, wrong notes, omissions, etc., which have become entrenched in the many interpretations over the years. The numerous additional agogic and dynamic hints or alternative versions that can be found in the manuscripts also give the player important impulses for interpretation. At the beginning of his career, Heitor Villa-Lobos earned his living as a travelling musician or chorão and improvised chôros of his homeland in the clubs of Rio de Janeiro. Throughout his life, Villa-Lobos, who was largely self-taught in his musical education, retained this immediacy in music-making and musical experimentation – always in search of new sound ideas. This also explains why Villa-Lobos repeatedly reworked or supplemented some of his works and why there are several different versions of some pieces. Whether one adopts the many deviations from the manuscripts or prefers to fall back on the known versions is up to the interpreter – in any case, a look at the manuscripts will significantly broaden one’s understanding of Villa-Lobos’ music”.


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