Ernesto García de León and Martín Pedreira Ernesto García de León and Martín Pedreira are guitarists and composers who enjoy active concertizing and teaching careers in their mutual countries. They are great admirers of each other and have dedicated music to each other. García de León's Acere, Op. 27 (1988) is not only dedicated to Pedreira, but contains themes from Pedreira's own music. Likewise, Pedreira's Homenaje a Heitor Villa-Lobos (1994) is dedicated to his old friend; both composers are ardent aficionados of the great Brazilian composer. Yet, they have much more in common. Both hail from very tropical regions in which folk and popular music play an integral role in the everyday life of everyone. García de León comes from the state of Veracruz, the easternmost region of Mexico on the Gulf; a part of the country more akin musically and ethnically to Cuba than any other part of Mexico. Both have been guests in each other's country, giving recitals and master classes and acting as tour guides for the benefit of musical "a-nationalism". After a consummate analysis and integration of styles, each composer has filtered the folk and popular music of their country and applied it, newly conceived, in their own compositions. Thus we hear the logical result of the 20th century's music in their work. Their music is the subsequent product of Amadeo Roldán and Alejandro García Caturla, Stravinsky and Bartok, Villa-lobos and Brouwer, Ponce and Revueltas, or Chavez and Copland. But it could also easily be said that this is the result of the son-montuno, the son jarocho, the guajira, danzón, the rumba, of Pablo Milanés, of Guty Cárdenas, of Pérez Prado, Toña la negra, Agustín Lara, Silvio Rodríguez, Benny Moré, the Trio Matamoros, Los Panchos, the Beatles, and just about anything else either composer ever heard as a child. It is an important characteristic of the world in which they exist to appropriate, take apart, and reassemble - leaving and adding as they go. Martín Pedreira (b. 1952, Havana) Martín Pedreira (b. 1952, Havana) is a guitarist and composer who is continuing in the compositional tradition of his teacher Leo Brouwer. He has sought to create music that can successfully express a unique voice that is knowledgeable of the music of a post-modern world, while using his beloved traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and music as the template within which to manipulate these ideals. Although his catalog of work is small, the quality is of a high standard which only bears witness to his meticulous craftsmanship. His Divertimentos (1987), for which he was awarded the Premio Nacional de Composición by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), is a collection of 25 studies intended to improve the technical abilities of the performer. However, these pieces go far beyond mere technical drivel, passing through many moods and sonorities which contradict the collection's humble intent. In an email, Pedreira comments about these pieces: "With strains of Cuban "country" and African music, the Divertimentos, at their essence, are short pedagogical studies inspired by traditional Cuban music. These references are sometimes direct and obvious, like the Oriki Iyá (ritualistic Lucumí chant), or indirect, as if from a dream, like the series of Islas or Preludios. In some cases, there is an emphasis on specific techniques, but these procedures are applied without losing sight of the principal objective - that of maintaining the expressive character of the music. " In the present recording, Carlo Pezzimenti has chosen a selection of 13 from the Divertimentos, while the "Guajira" is taken from a separate work, Pedreira's Suite Simple. Ernesto García de León Ernesto García de León is represented on this recording by two different works. La Guitarra de Plata (The Silver Guitar), Op. 56 dates from 2001 and has a tragic story. One of García de León's students at the National Conservatory of of Music in Mexico City, Noé García Alcaraz, commissioned a set of twenty etudes that he would perform in his graduating recital. The commissioned work was written (20 Estudios, Op. 50, 1998) and the recital went off without a hitch. As a present for the occasion and for his professorial guidance, Noé presented García de León with a small silver guitar. This piece had been made by artisans in Alcaraz's home city of Taxco, famous for it's silver mines, silver jewelry and crafts, in whose traditional style this 'silver guitar' had been made. Later, García de León learned of the tragic and senseless death of his student in a botched surgery. García de León wrote The Silver Guitar as an elegy to his student that was fittingly premiered in 2001 by Juan Carlos Laguna at the annual guitar festival held in Noé García Alcaraz's home of Taxco. It's structure is in three parts (Introduction, Dance, Elegy) with a coda in the "Elegy". The composer uses free atonality and chance procedures, as well as an ethereal, sometimes sardonic, mood to evoke the melancholic essence from which the piece is born. The "Canción" and "Final" are the last two movements of García de León's Suite, Op. 35 (1992) for two guitars. The tone in these pieces is lighter and more nostalgic, focusing on rhythmic qualities so pervasive in his music, such as the habanera rhythm in his "Canción" and the son jarocho in his "Final". Interestingly, the composer urges a certain amount of improvisation from both performers in the "Final", yet another quality of his style that is representative of the post-modern world. Brian Clemént-Foreman (b. 1952) Lousiana native Brian Clemént-Foreman (b. 1952) has an extensive catalog of compositions featuring the guitar, his own instrument. His latest addition, the triptych Contes Normands (2006) is the product of a vacation the composer took to Normandy. Inspired by the same countryside and hamlets that were such fruitful muses for Guy de Maupassant, Clément-Foreman has produced three pieces for two guitars imbued with the colors and harmonies of what one can aptly call neo-impressionism. While never easily falling into a cliché, the composer weaves a luxuriant fabric of harmonic denseness clearly evoking the reminiscences of his visit. This recording features the first two movements, "Les Andelys" and "Honfleur", named after communities in Normandy. - Notes by Pedro A. Haley Ernesto Garcia De Leon's compositions are published by Michael Lorimer Editions. (ASCAP). Michael Lorimer Editions, 175 west 73rd street (10G) New York 10023 USA. Brian Clement is also a member of ASCAP Martin Pedreira's music is published by Editora Musical de Cuba (EMC) Carlo Pezzimenti Carlo Pezzimenti, who studied under the great Spanish Guitarist Andres Segovia, is the director of the guitar programs at Texas Woman's University in Denton Texas and Brookhaven College in Dallas Texas. He has given concerts around the world, and to date has released 18 recordings. His work has been reviewed by many publications including Gramophone Magazine and the New York Times, which stated, ' In his hands the music made it's effect with reserved eloquence' Brian Rowe Brian Rowe, born in Huston, Texas, studied classical guitar with Carlo Pezzimenti, and earned a bachelor's degree of music from Texas Women's University in 2009. Brian plans to continue studying with Carlo and obtain a master's degree in guitar pedagogy The Silver Guitar Again I am proud to present another in our series of recordings that feature the poetic beauty that can be realized on the classical guitar playing well composed contemporary music, music that is truly inspired, not hatched out based on a formula. The music recorded on this CD will invoke images of nature, of faraway lands, of anguish at a loss, joy of love and the bliss of surrender to life itself... Just listen and allow the silvery notes of Carlo's Fleta guitar and Brian's Rozas guitar take you on a magical ride to worlds that words cannot describe...enjoy. ---Austin Audu.