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MP3 Bob & Tanja - Shade Grown

This husband and wife duo explore arrangements and original music for classical guitar and cello

17 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, CLASSICAL: Traditional

At our performances we often hear two questions: “Where do you find music for cello and guitar?” and “What is it like playing music with your spouse?”

Essentially, these instruments are the perfect compliment to each other. They have a similar range and blend well, yet they have completely different capabilities. The cello has an ability to sustain the melodic line while the guitar, with its notes always in a state of decay, has more accompaniment and contrapuntal possibilities. This instrumental combination is not completely new, but it does have a limited past and therefore a limited repertoire. Certain selections therefore include comments on the original works and how we arranged them.

In response to the second question, the musical ensemble has a relationship that resembles marriage. Performing music and living a life together have similar complexities and rewards, and we are blessed to have both.

Throughout our marriage we have developed this body of work. Because of the nature of music each performance is different and this cd preserves one moment of inspiration.

We hope that you enjoy the recording.

Bob and Tanja

Why Shade Grown?
Coffee lovers know the term well as coffee plants are carefully placed in shaded areas and grown slowly to maximize flavor. Our music, a product of patience and care, was cultivated over a number of years, since our first performance together over ten years ago.

Track notes

Track 1: The Swan (2:26)
by Camille Saint-Saëns 1835-1921

Originally for cello and piano, this piece is movement 13 of the 14 movement work entitled “The Carnival of Animals.” Arguably the most famous cello melody ever written, the original cello line represents the graceful flowing movement of the swan, while the guitar picks up the piano part which symbolizes the running water under the swan. Saint-Saëns forbade complete performances of this work shortly after its premiere on March 9, 1886 despite the popularity of this work today. He viewed this collection as a musical jest that might damage his serious reputation. The Swan was the only movement he allowed to be published in his lifetime.

Track 2: Cavatina (3:30)
by Stanley Myers 1930-1993

The Cavatina was made famous as the opening theme to the 1978 film “The Deer Hunter” and recorded by celebrated guitarist John Williams. Years earlier Williams was enchanted upon hearing the initial theme, and he encouraged Myers to finish the piece. Myers was quite familiar with the television and film industry and he composed over 1000 scores for that medium. Although his success with Cavatina put him in demand in the USA and elsewhere, he chose to remain in England until his death in 1993.

Track 3: Café 1930 (7:01)
Track 4: Nightclub 1060 (6:04)
by Astor Piazzolla 1921-1992

These two selections, originally for flute and guitar, are the middle movements of the larger four movement work “The Histoire Du Tango.” Piazzolla traces the development of the tango beginning in a Bordello in 1900 and ending with a Concert d’Aujourd'' Hui. He is perhaps tracing his own development as a young musician playing in traditional bands in Buenos Aires to the formation of the “tango nuevo” style in the 1960’s. In addition to the influences of his classical training in Europe in the 1050’s and the tango influences living in Buenos Aires, his style is punctuated with a touch of jazz from his youth in New York City.

Track 5: Apunte (Sketch) (4:28)
by Matt Dunne 1959-

Our wonderful old friend Matt talked of composing a wedding gift for several years, and he finally delivered. This wonderfully spirited piece, which shows his clear understanding of the guitar and the harmonic language of jazz, was well worth the wait. Matt’s success as a composer includes the recent appearance of his composition “Gypsy Flower” on the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet’s Grammy-winning recording, Guitar Heroes. We are fortunate to have a piece written by this rising composer and most importantly, we are thankful for all these years of friendship.

Track 6: Jonah’s Lullaby (1:57)
by David Crowe 1946-

Our dear friend and composer David presented this lullaby to us upon the birth of our son Jonah in 2003. For both personal and musical reasons, this piece is one of our favorites. David expresses a multitude of emotions as the peaceful beginning moves into a stormy afraid-of-the-dark middle section that ultimately slows down as the child finally surrenders to sleep. Previously, David Tanja and Bob have collaborated to perform with the six member ensemble, Without Borders. Their CD release Passage features works by David Crowe. Selections from Passage can be heard at https://www.tradebit.com. In addition, David has composed several symphonic, stage, and chamber works. His compositions often connect to other cultures and promote music as a bond of all people. We will always be grateful for the gift of David’s time and his art to celebrate the birth of our son.

Track 7: Äs Liedli für Tanja (Song for Tanja) (3:55)
by Bob Teixeira 1961-

This piece gives us another addition to the cello and guitar repertoire and was written for Tanja’s birthday on 6-4-2002. After a bit of melodic digesting, this piece found its tempo while Bob was stopped at a traffic light listening to the turn signal click. For this reason the tempo is marked, freely at the tempo of a 1981 Mercedes 240D turn signal. The lyrical cello melody is accompanied by a more rhythmic guitar line. This fun-to-play piece has classical and jazz influences, and Bob is happy to have his music performed and recorded in his lifetime.

Track 8: Invention #8 (:57)
Track 9: Invention #13 (1:04)
by J.S. Bach 1685-1750

These selections come from a set of fifteen inventions originally written as keyboard exercises for Bach’s students. They are concise examples of his compositional style and his mastery of polyphonic music. These pieces provide an opportunity for our instruments to break away from the traditional roles of melodic cello with guitar accompaniment. These can be read off the keyboard score without arrangement with guitar playing the right hand part and the cello playing the left hand. As we know Bach today as one of histories greatest composers, it seems unfathomable that he was only modestly appreciated in his own lifetime.

Track: 10 Aria from Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 (4:11)
by Heitor Villa-Lobos 1887-1959

This work was originally written for 8 celli and soprano as homage to J.S. Bach, and Villa-Lobos, a guitarist himself, later rearranged the piece for guitar and voice. Using his guitar arrangement, we re-scored the vocal line for the cello. Villa-Lobos traveled through the jungles of Brazil to collect folk material for his compositions. Legend has it that he played the cello for natives who threatened to eat him, and his life was spared. He was very prolific, composing approximately 1000 works, and is considered by many to be the most distinguished Brazilian composer.

Track 11: Danza Española No. 5 “Andaluza” (3:43)
by Enrique Granados 1867-1916

“Andaluza” is the 5th danza from a collection of 12 composed between 1888-1890. These dances considerably enhanced Granados’s reputation as a composer and were among his first published works. Like many of his piano works, Danza no. 5’s rhythmic patterns are derived from Spanish folk dances. Granados was the first important Spanish composer to visit America. Unfortunately, President Wilson’s invitation to the White House delayed his return and his ship, the SS Sussex, was struck by a German torpedo. The ship was not sunk in the incident but both Granados and his wife were among those thrown into the water. After being rescued by a lifeboat, Granados returned to the water in a vain attempt to save his wife. They drowned together in March of 1916.

Track 12: Granada (4:13)
by Isaac Albéniz 1860-1909

This slow serenade from the Suite Española Op. 47 seems ready-made for the cello and guitar but was originally written for piano. Spanish nationalist composer Albeniz captured the mysteries of Iberian folk music which are rooted in guitar playing. Therefore it is no surprise that many works have been transcribed for the guitar. In this serenade, the cello plays the warm cante jundo (deep singing) style melody while the guitar supplies the simple harmonic structure typical of the Spanish style. Reminiscent of a lone singer accompanying himself on the guitar, it is a fitting tribute to Granada.

Track 13: El Paño Moruno (2:12)
Track 14: Asturiana (2:50)
Track 15: Nana (2:06)
Track 16: Cancion (1:26)
from “Siete Canciones Populares Españolas”
by Manuel De Falla 1876-1946

Based on Spanish folk material, this collection was composed while Falla was in Paris just prior to World War I. This work has gone on to become the most performed of all Spanish solo songs since its first performance in Madrid. Though originally for voice and piano, its popularity has led to numerous transcriptions, including an orchestral arrangement. This version is a fusion of arrangements from the famous cellist Jacqueline Du Pré and celebrated guitarist Miguel Llobet.

Track 17: Autumn Leaves (3:42)
by Joseph Kozma and John Mercer

Some years ago we were introduced to the vocal artist Eva Cassidy, and we were both awestruck by her honest and heartfelt interpretations. Eva reminds us of the simple beauty and communication possible through music despite living in a world of highly technical and virtuosic music. Eva’s untimely passing, due to cancer, gives the music an added poignancy, and we decided to conclude this recording by paying homage to Eva. In this arrangement, the cello imitates Eva’s lyrical, vocal style while the guitar remains her signature uncomplicated accompaniment.

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