Brouwer: Hika And The Young Composer

Album cover art for upc 5028421958385
Catalog: BRI95838

Zigante, Frédéric

This recording presents some of the most significant early pieces by the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer (b.1939); it also includes other works, such as Hika from 1994 and the third and fourth series of his Estudios sencillos (1981), which show clear similarities with the composer's early style. First to be composed of the works here is a Danza caracteristica from 1956. A popular song melody forms the basis for an Afro-Cuban flavored fantasy. The Fugue No.1 dates from the following year, when Brouwer was still a teenager: having outlined a theme of Baroque proportions he takes a fairly free attitude to its contrapuntal elaboration, anticipating the concise play of fantasy in the Tres Apuntes of 1959. Having soon after moved to the US, Brouwer composed the first two books of the Estudios sencillos out of financial necessity, but they have proved among his most enduring and successful works, drawing energy not only from his Cuban heritage but the didactic economy of the Mikrokosmos by Bartók. Almost all of the third and fourth books from the series date from 1981; although Brouwer had both moved back to Cuba by then as well as moved on in his own style towards a more neo-romantic language, he rediscovered the lively economy of thought which runs through the earlier studies, combining it with both neoclassical harmonies and even chance procedures to produce among the most significant collections of guitar studies from the second half of the last century. ‘These short pieces reflect all of Brouwer’s creative genius,’ says Frédéric Zigante, ‘and I have always been fond of them, first as a young student of guitar and later as a guitar teacher. To me, they are an ideal method for weaning young guitarists from the didactic repertory of the 19th century.’

Price: $14.99