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Casey Fitzwater, guitar
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in guitar performance. Mr. Fitzwater is a student in the studio of Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves.
Described as "'The Paganini of the Guitar," Italian guitarist Luigi Legnani began his musical career singing as a tenor at the Theatre of Ravenna in Italy. However after realizing the virtuosity he possessed with the guitar, the instrument became his main performance focus. As a performer, he gave concerts all across Europe in some of the most important theatres of the time. His performing career came to a tragic end after he fell from a carriage and badly bruised his arm. The artist retired to Ravenna where he devoted himself to teaching voice and guitar as well as making guitars and violins. As a luthier he introduced the mechanical tuning tool, which is still in use today. As a composer Legnani wrote several pieces for educational purposes as well as solo and chamber music. This selection is from his 36 Caprices, Op. 20, in all 12 keys written in 1822. It starts off slow in the key of C major but branches off briefly into D and A minor. The second section contrasts the first with a fast melody over an ostinato accompaniment.
Leo Brouwer is considered one of the worlds' most influential living guitar composers. Hailing from Cuba, his style reflects that of native African and Spanish influences, especially ritualistic music which the composer himself describes as "something absolutely abstract". Brouwer's relevance in music and specifically in guitar lies in his ability and acceptance in multiple genres, composing both tonal and atonal works for solo, as well as chamber settings and film scores. The two selections performed today are taken from his early period of composing. Guajira Criolla is a short piece with two contrasting sections. The first in D minor is introduced by a pizzicato melodic line that arpeggiates the tonic and dominant chords. The first theme is aggressive but quickly backs off with the use of harmonics that give breadth between the short phrases. The melodic figure used in the beginning is repeated again except in D major. The final theme in the major key releases the tension built through the first section and ends with an abrupt time change followed by the melodic line that introduced the piece. In Canción de Cuna, the first section begins with a gentle melody in the key of D followed by the bass figure that introduced the piece. The second section begins with a quick ascending figure that is more developmental in nature and touches on the keys of G minor and F major, a repeat of the bass figure the third section begins similarly to the first but in the key of A minor. The piece the repeats the B and A sections making the overall form ABACBA.
Italian guitar virtuoso and composer Mauro Giuliani made a name for himself during the early 19th century through his compositions and performances. It is unclear exactly what Giuliani's early musical training was like or whom he studied under. It wasn't until his move to Vienna around 1806 that he started to flourish. Renowned for his musical taste and classical style compositions he developed a reputation from extensive touring of Europe earning him a place amongst the classical greats such as Rossini and Beethoven. Giuliani helped bring the guitar to concert halls and gave it a new role in European art music. In this piece, Giuliani manages to manipulate the harmonic form to make it more impressionable. The exposition begins with a theme in the tonic key of A major. This is followed by a transition that emphasizes B major harmony to enhance the arrival of the second theme in the dominant key of E major. The development section begins in the dominant E major and it modulates to G major. After remaining in this key for some rime, the G major chord serves as the dominant harmony of C major, the last key featured in the development until the arrival of the recapitulation in the home key of A major.
Argentinean composer José Luis Merlin started performing on the guitar publicly at age nine. Since then he has spent his life studying music, performing, and currently teaches at the Mundo-Velásquez School of Music in Madrid, Spain. As a performer he has given concerts throughout the Americas and Europe. When it comes to composing, Merlin draws inspiration from traditional Argentine folk music. Suite del Recuerdo ("Suite of Memory") is a fine example of Merlin's employment of Argentinean style as well as a personal reflection of his time growing up in Argentina. A total of six movements with the first repeated, the suite opens with Evocacíon, a slow movement that is meant to be reminiscent of Merlin's time spent on the pampas (plains) of Argentina. The main theme of the first movement can be heard throughout the work. Zamba is a style of music and dance that has its origins in northwestern Argentina. Not to be confused with the samba, the zamba is a slow dance in three quarter time (six beats per measure). Traditionally, the dance features a couple circling one another while waving handkerchiefs. Chacarera is the name of a native Argentinean rhythm that originated in the Santiago del Estero province that quickly spread across the country absorbing characteristics of each region. In this suite, the chacarera begins with an emotional lament that quickly moves to a theme that is repeated. Carnavalito is a festive dance that originated in northwestern Argentina. This fast paced movement begins in E minor with a descending melodic line accompanied by the E minor arpeggiated in the upper voices, leading into a brief section in the relative major key of G that displays some traditional folk harmonies before returning to the original theme but in the Key of G major. A strummed chordal section that ends the movement follows the section. Joropo is similar to a waltz and is used to accompany the dance tl1at is equally named. Musically this movement begins in E major and modulates to A minor as well as G major. It also brings back melodic content from previous movements such as Carnavalito and Chacarera.
Known as a composer with a "keen intelligence allied to a refreshing musical sensibility" Vojislav lvanović has made a name for himself in multiple areas ·of the music world. His compositional output includes music for solo and accompanied instruments as well as choral, orchestral, and chamber music. Ivanović's interests in traditional and jazz styles reflect in his compositions as well as his performance repertoire. Not only does he perform as a solo guitarist but also with various jazz combos such as the Levantine Jazz. Trio, and the Levante Guitar Duo. He currently serves as professor of guitar at the Music Academy of Sarajevo-East. The pieces being performed are two selections, from his 6 Pieces de Café, which he began composing in 1985 and completed in 1990. The first, Tear Prelude has a sense of nostalgia. With sharp dissonances in the melody followed by gentle resolutions, the first section of this work builds a sense of desire. The second section offers a relief to the suspense of the first with a descending melodic line and similar harmonies that leads into a repeat of a portion of the first section that then spirals into a coda that ends the piece leaving the listener wanting more. Café, Lullaby, brings resolve to the dense emotion of the five pieces before it in the suite. The first section contains the lullaby, which is a, flowing melody with two different themes that contrast in emotion. The second section can be seen as a "dream" where each phrase seems to suggest a different idea, like how one can have many dreams in a night. The main theme is brought back with a repeat of the first section that leads to the conclusion of the piece on the tonic D major 11th chord.
French guitarist composer Roland Dyens has been a major contributor to art music for the guitar. Along with his own original compositions he is known for his arrangements of jazz standards and Brazilian chôros. His background consists of musical training under the supervision of Master guitarist Alberto Ponce and conductor Desire Dondeyne. Recognized as one of the "Best Living Guitarists" by the French Magazine Guitarist, he spends his time touring, composing, and teaching at the Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. This composition, one of his first to be published, helped him be recognized in the guitar scene. The first movement Ritual can be described as mysterious and tonally ambiguous. Through the use of extended techniques, histrionic use of dynamics, and sharp dissonances, Dyens sets up the suspense that is relieved in the second movement, Danse. This movement contains various melodic lines that occur over an ostinato bass that portrays the Brazilian rhythm of the "baião" that modulates the work from the key of D major to the key of A, where the third movement begins. Fête et Final brings a dramatic end to the work employing melodic ideas from the previous movements as well as exotic harmonies and rhythms. Percussive techniques are also used throughout the piece.
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Fitzwater, Casey, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a BFA Senior Recital, Casey Fitzwater, guitar" (2015). All Performances. 702.