Villa-Lobos / Castelnuovo-Tedesco – Guitar concertos


Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (awesome name!) was an important composer for guitar. Other than this, I have no records of works by him. The guitar in classical music is always a bit of a challenged instrument. In pop music it is everywhere, but in both jazz and classical music considerably less. If you come across it, it is usually a composition with a latin background: here are works by Spanish (Rodrigo), Italian (Castelnuovo-Tedesco) and Brazilian (Villa-Lobos) composers.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born before the Second World War in Florence Italy. He premiered his first opera in 1926, but was inspired to write for guitar by a chance meeting with the Spanish guitarist Andrès Segovia in 1932. He fled Mussolini’s Italy in 1939 after the racism laws against the Jews made work for him impossible, not to mention dangerous. With the help of violinist Jascha Heifetz and conductor Toscanini he was able to immigrate in the US, where he started to write for films by MGM.

On this recording is his first concert, in D. It was composed in 1939 and dedicated to his Andrès Segovia.

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