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Monday, September 11, 2017

Federico Moreno Tórroba - Guitar Concertos Vol. 2 (Pepe Romero; Vicente Coves)


Composer: Federico Moreno Tórroba
  • (01-03) Homenaje a la seguidilla
  • (04-07) Tonada concertante
  • (08-10) Concierto de Castilla

Pepe Romero, guitar (1-7)
Vicente Coves, guitar (8-10)
Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Manuel Coves, conductor

Date: 2017
Label: Naxos



Federico Moreno Torroba, who, among other things, ran a zarzuela company with Plácido Domingo's parents, wrote much of his guitar music for Andrés Segovia, but it has been somewhat neglected of late. Its idiom is conservative, a slot filled by the music of Rodrigo. Torroba's range is somewhat wider than Rodrigo's, but in general you can safely look into his music if you've heard the big Rodrigo hits enough times and are interested in something new. This collection of music for guitar and orchestra, the second in a series (the first is equally good), makes a fine place to start. Pepe Romero, perhaps the dean of living Spanish guitarists, is undiminished in his mid-seventies, and he has used this album and its predecessor to introduce his student, Vicente Coves, as a possible successor (Coves' brother Manuel also ably conducts the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra here). The casual listener will find it hard to detect any fall-off in the final Concierto de Castilla (1960), which is performed by Coves. The oddly shaped Tonada Concertante, with two long movements followed by two short ones, ends with Rodrigo-like music. Probably the most effective is the opening Homenaje a la seguidilla, a well-crafted and colorful folkloristic work with wonderfully varied guitar writing. Naxos nails the engineering at the Palacios de Congresos in Badajoz, capturing the careful balances -- always the challenge in guitar music -- forged by Manuel Coves. Never less than enjoyable.

-- James Manheim, AllMusic

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Federico Moreno Torroba (3 March 1891 – 12 September 1982) was a Spanish composer, conductor, and theatrical impresario. He is especially remembered for his important contributions to the classical guitar repertoire, becoming one of the leading twentieth-century composers for the instrument. He was also one of the foremost composers of zarzuelas, a form of Spanish light opera. In addition, he composed ballets, symphonic works, and piano pieces, as well as one-act operas and one full-length opera, El poeta, which premiere in 1980, starring well-known tenor Plácido Domingo.


Pepe Romero (born March 8, 1944 in Málaga, Spain) is a classical and flamenco guitarist. He is the second son of guitarist and composer Celedonio Romero, who was his only guitar teacher. Romero is particularly famous for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument. Since his first recording in 1959, he has recorded over 60 albums, including 20 concerti and 30 albums as part of the famed guitar quartet The Romeros. His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him.


Vicente Coves (born 1982 in Linares, Jaén, Andalucía) is a classical Spanish guitarist. Coves lived in Linares until 1997, when he moved to Granada. He began his musical studies with his brother, the pianist and conductor, Manuel Coves. Since 1997 he has been a disciple of the legendary Pepe Romero. Since 2003, he belongs to the Versus Ensemble. In 2008 he was awarded the Rubinstein Medal by the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His career has brought him international acclaim, with appearances in many countries. Coves is the founder and president of the European Guitar Foundation.


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