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MP3 Jorge Amaral - Viaggio

A journey of sounds, forms and styles through music history

10 MP3 Songs in this album (51:47) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Baroque, CLASSICAL: Twentieth Century

J. S. Bach

Adaptability is an important issue when transcribing Bach’s violin music for guitar. On one hand, the technical difficulties are bound to be substantial due to the differences in instrumental technique. On the other, various aspects of the music that are merely implied in the original are accentuated through the polyphonic potential of the guitar. Bach created complex single-voice textures by means of large leaps in the melodic line which the ear interprets as polyphony. The sustaining capabilities of guitar allow for a higher level of clarity for the listener.

However, sustaining notes in a monophonic context is a different situation in which the short-lived sound of plucked strings is obviously at a disadvantage. The performer/arranger counteracts this by adding voices, particularly in the bass register. This can make the piece sound more natural to the guitar although it can also contribute to cause technical complexity.

The D minor partita is comprised of the four essential dances of the Baroque suite, enhanced by the famous Chaconne, a set of 64 variations on a seminal bass. The Chaconne, a dance related to the Sarabande, involves a similar metric emphasis on the second beat. In constructing this immense work, Bach exploits both the metric and harmonic features of the opening, varying texture, mode, and harmony. The resulting monumental achievement became a cornerstone in the art of composition.


When Joaquín Rodrigo was studying with Dukas in Paris, he met with Manuel de Falla who, like most important Spanish composers of the time, had developed his nationalist style in the French school. Falla had then encouraged Rodrigo in his studies and was probably a strong influence in the shaping of Rodrigo’s nationalist style, as Rodrigo himself often admitted with gratitude and respect.

The Invocation and Dance was Rodrigo’s tribute to the old master and is one of the composer’s greatest accomplishments. Like most of Rodrigo’s music, the piece reveals deep;y traditional Spanish roots, especially flamenco. The Invocation develops with a languid pace, giving way to intense, pleading passages that contrast the mystical with the harmonical. De Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España is echoed and low tessitura themes begin to emerge. Elements of flamenco like rasqueos and arpeggioscrescendo to a violent climax which subsides into the more stable Danza. The latter is a polo, a lively Spanish dance which involves hemiola meter (2 against 3). Chordal passages are juxtaposed with tremolo sections in which themes from the Invocation are developed. and finally explode into heavy combinations of rasgueos and arpeggios before the apocryphal mood of the Invocation returns. De Falla’s El Amor Brujo is quoted at the end as a final fading image of the great composer.


In the preface of the edition of his Guitar Sonata Ginastera wrote: “The first movement, Esordio, is a solemn prelude, followed by a song which was inspired by Kecua music and which concludes with an abbreviated repetition of these two elements. The second movement, Scherzo, which must be played ‘il piu presto possibile’ is an interplay of shadow and light, of nocturnal and magical ambiance, of dynamic contrasts, distant dances, of surrealistic impressions, such as I had used in earlier works. Near the end, the lute theme of Sixtus Beckmesser appears as a phantasmagoria. The third movement, Canto, is lyrical and rhapsodic, expressive and breathless like a love poem. It is connected to the last movement, Finale, a quick, spirited rondo which recalls the strong, bold rhythms of the music of the pampas. Combinations of ‘rasqueado’ and ‘tambora’ percussion effects, mixed with other effects of metallic timbre or the rebounding of strings, give a special color to this rapid, violent movement, which overall acquires the character of a ‘toccata’.”

This sonata, considered by some to be one of the few masterpieces composed for the guitar, explores unusual techniques and sounds such as percussive effects on the body of the instrument and plucking above the nut. The guitarist becomes involved in a “choreography” as interesting to watch as well as listen to.

Socrates Leptos


Jorge Amaral is considered by many as one of the most exceptional Mexican players of his generation. He has been described by Alirio Diaz as a “brilliant figure in the future of the classical guitar”.
Since winning the very prestigious Fernando Sor International Guitar Competition in the year 2000, Mr. Amaral has established himself among the international concert performers of classical guitar. He has toured widely through Europe, the USA, and Mexico. He has performed and taught master classes in music festivals in Poland, Italy, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. He is invited regularly as a judge for the Fernando Sor International Guitar Competition in Italy, and summered as a faculty member of international guitar festivals abroad.
Mr. Amaral has performed with several orchestras and chamber music ensembles, as well as with strings quartets, performing the Vivaldi, Rodrigo and Villalobos Concertos and the Paganini Trios and duos with guitar. He is also an active member of “Duo Amaral”with guitarist and wife Mia Pomerantz.
Among the International competitions Mr. Amaral has won are: the first prize in the Fernando Sor International Guitar Competition in Rome, where he also received a special prize for the best performance of a piece by Fernando Sor. He also won the International Music Competition Anemos in Rome Italy. Also he has won the first prize in the International Competition “Citta di Colleferro” in Rome Italy.
With a grant from the Italian Government, Mr. Amaral attended the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, where he received his undergraduate and graduate Diploma in 1999. He also received his certificate for a two year apprentice study with Giuliano Balestra in 2001. In the fall of 2002, Mr. Amaral began his studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore MD. In the year 2004 he was awarded the Graduate Performance Diploma and in the year 2006 he finished his Master’s Degree in Guitar Performance as a Peabody scholarship recipient under the tutelage of renowned teacher Julian Gray.

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