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Adam Levin & William Knuth | Duo Sonidos

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Classical: Chamber Music Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Duo Sonidos

by Adam Levin & William Knuth

Rarely over the past three centuries have violin and guitar crossed paths collaboratively and on equal footing. This album offers a fantastic example of these two instruments playing together.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Histoire du Tango I. Bordel 1900
Adam Levin & William Knuth
3:50 $0.99
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2. Histoire du Tango II. Café 1930
Adam Levin & William Knuth
6:41 $0.99
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3. Histoire du Tango III. Nightclub 1960
Adam Levin & William Knuth
5:21 $0.99
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4. Histoire du Tango IV. Concert D'Aujourd'Hui
Adam Levin & William Knuth
3:23 $0.99
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5. Tre Divertimenti I. Molto Allegro
Adam Levin & William Knuth
3:47 $0.99
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6. Tre Divertimenti II. Adagio Lamentoso
Adam Levin & William Knuth
3:33 $0.99
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7. Tre Divertimenti III. Con Fuoco
Adam Levin & William Knuth
4:37 $0.99
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8. Volavérunt: Homenaje a Francisco Goya
Adam Levin & William Knuth
7:46 $0.99
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9. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: I. El Paño Moruno
Adam Levin & William Knuth
2:12 $0.99
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10. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: II. Seguidilla Murciana
Adam Levin & William Knuth
1:19 $0.99
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11. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: III.Asturiana
Adam Levin & William Knuth
2:23 $0.99
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12. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: IV. Jota
Adam Levin & William Knuth
3:07 $0.99
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13. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: V. Nana
Adam Levin & William Knuth
2:32 $0.99
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14. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: VI. Canción
Adam Levin & William Knuth
1:32 $0.99
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15. Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: VII. Polo
Adam Levin & William Knuth
1:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Rarely over the past three centuries have violin and guitar crossed paths collaboratively and on equal footing. While violinists, blessed with an abundant solo and chamber literature, have had little incentive to comb the comparatively sparse guitar repertoire for new material, guitarists have built much of their repertoire (as well as their legitimacy as “serious musicians”) on transcriptions from the violin catalogue. For years, guitarists have stolen at least as much as they have written. The complete Bach Partitas and Sonatas have been transcribed numerous times in an attempt to capture accurately and convincingly the spirit, expression and style of Bach’s masterpieces. Niccolò Paganini’s virtuosic 24 Caprices for solo violin, first approached by guitarist John Williams in his 1969 recording of the signature 24th caprice, were ‘swallowed whole’, and in their entirety by Eliot Fisk 22 years later: a quantum leap forward both in the expansion of existing guitar literature and a broadening of its technical bandwidth. Having already borrowed much of their music from fiddle players, it is high time guitarists worked collaboratively and synergistically with violinists to create a new musical repertoire, and so we bring you Duo Sonidos.
Duo Sonidos is our bid to amalgamate the capabilities (and, we hope, the audience) of two classically ambassadorial instruments basic to the fabric of contemporary and classical music alike and to encourage and imprint an aural image of this chamber combination in the musical ear of the listener. We’d like to think there is something new here. Our mission is nothing short of building a standard and expansive repertoire for violin and guitar duos. To this end, Duo Sonidos has forged relationships with contemporary composers with an adaptable catalogue of music or who share an interest in our vision and have written us entirely new works.
Our recording begins with Astor Piazzolla’s vibrant Histoire du Tango (History of the Tango), originally written for flute and guitar. This four-part work explores the core rhythms, timbres, intrinsic passion and intimate expression of tango music while following the evolution of the tango through the 20th century from its origins as a folkloric dance style to an idiomatic classical form intended for the concert stage. The opening movement, Bordel 1900, presents an Argentinean brothel with its boisterous, lewd and lascivious ambiance. Café 1930, draws the listener to the relaxing setting of a café, opening with the guitar’s improvisational solo followed by the violin’s warm melody, simply, but elegantly, accompanied by the guitar. The tranquil atmosphere of Café 1930 creates a world where the cigarette smoke drifts pungently and conversations flow free of inhibition. Mood and setting again change dramatically in Nightclub 1960. Intertwining guitar and violin melodies give way to the charged and spontaneous world of Argentinean nightclubs, before transitioning yet again to furtive romantic snapshots: plaintive and melancholic undertones illuminated by the violin’s melodic line. The movement explores the full range of timbres in both instrumental parts. The violin plays, for example, behind the bridge on the windings of the strings to create a raucous effect that would characteristically accompany the bandaneon, while the guitar erupts with fanning rasqueados (intense ‘circular’ strumming) to accentuate the rhythmic intensity of the movement while creating contrasting textures with the violin. Piazzolla closes the story with the tango of today (Concert d’Aujourd’hui) and foreshadows the future of tango music with an accentuated, drone-like movement, which is bound to the rhythm that constantly propels the piece forward. Focus is diverted away from the erotic undertones of the seductive dance and placed instead on rhythm and dissonance. In our adaptation of Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango for violin and guitar we have endeavored to push to the limit each instrument’s unique character and range in search of the sounds, moods, rhythms and sceneries described by the composer in this evocative and sensuous exemplar of tango form.
Trei Divertimenti by contemporary Catalan composer Salvador Brotons is a compelling mixture of modern classical language and more traditional compositional techniques. The first movement, Molto Allegro, is an exhilarating work of perpetual motion shifting dynamically from misty nebulous pianissimos to bright and rhythmic fortissimos. One senses, however, a diminuendo in the nearly inaudible percussive tapping in the guitar, gradually dissipating into the stillness of the Adagio Lamentoso. The Adagio Lamentoso exploits the violin’s rich, lyrical voice. A serene introduction by the guitar builds a backdrop against which the violin muses freely. Con Fuoco, the piece’s explosive climax weaves forcefully but fluidly between different meters (4/4, 3/8, 3/4, 5/8, 4/4, 7/8, 5/4, 12/8), accentuating the movement’s rhythmic drive.
Volavérunt is a virtuosic new work written by our dear friend and composer, Eduardo Morales-Caso (Cuba-Spain). In the composer’s words: “it is a fantasy for violin and guitar inspired by Francisco de Goya’s famous painting of the same title, which bases its structure on the principal of color as a generator of textural contrasts.” This piece exquisitely captures Goya’s eerie depiction of an airborne witch and her ghouls. There is mystery and menace in the piece’s mood, brought to life through a mixture of harmonics, trills, arpeggios and melodies on both instruments. The violin’s cadenzas are brief moments of catharsis where there is an outcry of amassed tension, transitioning into erratic ‘flight patterns’ sounded by the trilling violin over an adventurous guitar accompaniment, all ending with a forceful climax.
Our recording concludes with a very familiar cycle of songs, Siete Canciones Populares Españolas by the Spanish nationalist composer Manuel de Falla. These works, originally written for voice and piano, have been adapted at one time or another for virtually every chamber music combination. They are a perfect complement to the contemporary repertoire presented earlier in the recording and offer a resolution to any dissonance or unfamiliarity.
Each of these seven songs presents a unique Spanish musical identity associated with the character, region and poetry, which have inspired it. El Paño Moruno alludes to a woman’s lost virginity, Jota and Seguidilla Murciana represent Spanish folk dances, Polo alludes to the fiery elements of flamenco, Canción presents a simple and endearing song, and the Asturiana and Nana (Lullaby) create a contemplative, melancholic ambience.
We are pleased to release this new recording and hope that you enjoy the music. We also hope that, having had a taste, you will continue to follow us from the traditional to the unexpected. It’s a new world of chamber music. Saludos!
-Adam Levin and William Knuth

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