Review By David Denton, Naxos,June 2009
Last November I was giving a warm welcome to a superbly played first volume in a series that will bring us into contact with hugely enjoyable and seldom heard music. Yet it was only by a chance meeting with the legendary guitarist, Andres Segovia, that the Italian composer, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, was awakened to the range of music the guitar could generate. He was then to write over a hundred guitar scores, written at a time when he was living in the United States, the home imposed upon him by the Second World War, and where he had also become much involved in music for the silver screen. Both works on the disc are from the 1960’s, the major item being the completion of Les Guitares Bien Temperées (The Well-Tempered Guitars), the first twelve being on the earlier disc. It was his affectionate response to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, the last twelve forming a substantial score lasting almost fifty minutes. Though in outline it was a score that looked back, the music is attractively modern and at times distinctively jazzy, the thirteenth Prelude seeming to have strayed into Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Often extremely difficult, the speed and complexity of the Fifteenth throws down a challenge to any duo. In mood they are a well contrasted series of pieces that make for pleasing hearing. The disc, which is completed with the Fuga elegiaca written in response to the tragically early death of Ida Presti, part of the famed Presti and Lagoya duo,is performed by Joao Luiz and Douglas Lora who form The Brasil Guitar Duo. Their unanimity and individual excellence brings razor-sharp articulation in an outstanding release. Superb sound quality.