Brian Farrell | Sixdancers

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by Brian Farrell

The Music of Patrick Benham, Benjamin Dwyer & Leo Brouwer. Performed by Ireland's classical guitarist, Brian Farrell
Genre: Classical: Art songs
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. West Country Sketches: I. Quantock Prospect
2:00 $0.99
2. West Country Sketches: II. Steep Holme Flat Holme
1:30 $0.99
3. West Country Sketches: III. Meadowsweet Drove
1:42 $0.99
4. West Country Sketches: IV. On Cadbury
2:26 $0.99
5. West Country Sketches: V. May Fayre
1:10 $0.99
6. 3 Guitar Solos: I. Nocturne
2:02 $0.99
7. 3 Guitar Solos: II. Waltz
1:11 $0.99
8. 3 Guitar Solos: III. Prelude
1:58 $0.99
9. From French Suite: I. Danse Légère
2:05 $0.99
10. From French Suite: II. Idylle
2:14 $0.99
11. From French Suite: III. Valse
2:44 $0.99
12. Eight Simple Studies: No. 1
0:34 $0.99
13. Eight Simple Studies: No. 2
0:26 $0.99
14. Eight Simple Studies: No. 3
0:37 $0.99
15. Eight Simple Studies: No. 4
0:45 $0.99
16. Eight Simple Studies: No. 5
0:42 $0.99
17. Eight Simple Studies: No. 6
1:16 $0.99
18. Eight Simple Studies: No. 7
0:49 $0.99
19. Eight Simple Studies: No. 8
1:07 $0.99
20. 20 Études Simples: No. 1, Movido
0:41 $0.99
21. 20 Études Simples: No. 2, Lento
1:17 $0.99
22. 20 Études Simples: No. 3, Rapido
0:19 $0.99
23. 20 Études Simples: No. 4, Comodo - Allegretto
0:32 $0.99
24. 20 Études Simples: No. 5, Allegretto (Montune)
0:40 $0.99
25. 20 Études Simples: No. 6, Lo Mas Rapido Posible
0:41 $0.99
26. 20 Études Simples: No. 7, Lo Mas Rapido Posible
0:40 $0.99
27. 20 Études Simples: No. 8, Tranquillo
1:25 $0.99
28. 20 Études Simples: No. 9, Scherzo
0:41 $0.99
29. 20 Études Simples: No. 10, Allegretto
0:59 $0.99
30. 20 Études Simples: No. 11, Allegretto
1:56 $0.99
31. 20 Études Simples: No. 12, Tranquillo - Moderato
1:12 $0.99
32. 20 Études Simples: No. 13, Movido
1:43 $0.99
33. 20 Études Simples: No. 14, Allegro
1:51 $0.99
34. 20 Études Simples: No. 15, Sarabande
3:11 $0.99
35. 20 Études Simples: No. 16, Grave sarabande
1:40 $0.99
36. 20 Études Simples: No. 17, Moderato sarabande
2:12 $0.99
37. 20 Études Simples: No. 18, Moderato quasi lento
2:54 $0.99
38. 20 Études Simples: No. 19, Movido - Allegretto
1:21 $0.99
39. 20 Études Simples: No. 20, Movido - Rapido
1:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Patrick Benham (1940)
Patrick Benham was born in Hove, Sussex and his mother was born in Dublin to an English family. His father's mother was from Co Cork.

Patrick took piano lessons and also played recorder and harmonica as a child. He bought his first guitar at the age 15 and took lessons with a local dance band guitarist. Two years later he was playing with jazz groups in his home area. At around the same time he was inspired after hearing Segovia to study classical guitar, taking a few lessons with Stella MacKenzie at Len Williams's Spanish Guitar Centre in London. After three years as an art student in Brighton and working in a drawing office in Cheltenham he moved to Bristol in 1962. There he joined the staff of the Spanish Guitar Centre (Western Area) which had been set up by Michael Watson in 1953. By this time Patrick had already started to compose for the instrument. He studied the rudiments of harmony and composition on his own, and also employed aspects of jazz harmony in some of his works. He wrote quite a number of simple pieces for his students some of which have been collected together and published. He has also composed music for concert performance and for guitar with other instruments and jazz ensembles of various sizes.

He left the Bristol centre in 1967 to concentrate on peripatetic school work. In 1969 Patrick was appointed guitar tutor at the prestigious Millfield School near Glastonbury where he remained until his retirement in 2005. Although no longer teaching he continues to compose for the classical guitar. His latest piece Valse (2012) is included on this CD. He still lives in Somerset.

West Country Sketches Pat Benham - Published 1987 - All written around 1985 apart from On Cadbury

I Quantock Prospect
As with all the other pieces in this suite I have tried to convey an English feeling with melodies suggestive of folk song despite quite a bit of chromatic movement in the background.

II Steep Holme, Flat Holme
These are a couple of conspicuous islands in the Bristol Channel midway between the English and Welsh shores. I was hoping to convey a sense of the sea in this. Strangely, long after I wrote the piece I found out that my great-great-grandfather James Crosby had died of heart failure in 1859 while manning a tug-boat right next to these islands which were named on his death certificate.

III Meadowsweet Drove
Much the same kind of mood and feeling as the first piece. I hope you might find in this the summer sounds and scents of the countryside with an awareness of the larger landscape beyond.

IV On Cadbury
I actually wrote this piece in 1967 without any particular location in mind. Much later it hit me how perfectly it described Cadbury Camp, an earthworked hill in South Somerset which is reputed to have once been King Arthur's fortified headquarters.

IV May Fayre
What else could I call this folksy romp in 6/8 time? I wanted to end with a flourish so I hope this does it for you.

Three Guitar Solos Pat Benham - Published 1979

I Nocturne
Written around 1976 as a piece for students at around grade 3 level. Classical in flavour.

II Waltz
Not sure exactly when I wrote this, but definitely in the 1970s. A little harder, using the entire fingerboard up to fret 12.

III Prelude
Actually one of my earliest pieces written around 1960 when I was 20. The only one of mine in D-tuning. Had fun running open notes combined with higher positions.

From French Suite - 2012 Pat Benham
I Danse Légère
This was written around 1965. I have recently decided to include it in a group of pieces that I have named French Suite.

II Idylle
Most of this piece was also composed around 1964/65 but added to and edited over the years since then. If pressed to give it a label I would say meditation fits quite well.

III Valse
My most recent solo guitar piece. The first theme of it was composed in 2004 and the rest of it completed this year (2012).
Patrick Benham February 2013

Benjamin Dwyer (1965)
As a prolific composer, a virtuoso guitarist and an innovative researcher, Benjamin Dwyer's creative and critical work extends from a broad base in performance and artistic practice.
His compositions have been performed internationally, and he has been the featured composer at numerous festivals including Musica Nova 2008 in São Paulo, the Bienalle of Contemporary Music of Riberão Preto 2009, the National Concert Hall's Composers' Choice and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra's Horizons series. In recent years, he has completed a number of large-scale works, some of which were conceived in response to or in collaboration with artists from other disciplines. These include Scenes from Crow (a mixed chamber work based on the Crow poems of Ted Hughes), Umbilical, his re-working of the Oedipus myth for Baroque violin, double-bass, harpsichord, tape, and Butoh dancer, Rajas, Sattva Tamas (Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra), Concerto No. 2 for Guitar and Orchestra, composed for the renowned Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon, and his monumental Twelve Études for guitar, described by Zanon as the ‘culmination of an entire guitar epoch’.
He earned a PhD in Composition from Queen's University (Belfast), an MMus in Performance from the Royal Academy of Music (London), and a BMus (Hons) from Trinity College (Dublin). Dwyer is Professor of Music at Middlesex University’s School of Media and Performing Arts.
Eight Simple Studies 
The Eight Simple Studies were composed in response to a commission in 2008 from the Royal Irish Academy of Music (with assistance from the Arts Council of Ireland) to provide a series of graded studies for its internal assessment examinations. Twenty studies in all were written ranging from approximately grade one to advanced level. As the composer wanted these pedagogical works to have a broader use outside the Academy, twelve were collected into Dwyer’s Twelve Studies for Guitar, which the composer premièred at the Concert Hall of DePaul University in February 2012, and subsequently recorded by the composer on the CD Irish Guitar Music (El Cortijo 00010, 2012). The remaining studies were collected under the title of Eight Simple Studies.
This is the debut recording.

Leo Brouwer (1939) 
The Cuban composer, conductor and classical guitarist Leo Brouwer was born in Havana and studied composition at the Julliard School in New York. He now lives in Spain. Brouwer’s contribution to guitar music alone has been prolific. As a world class player himself, his compositions, even if they present technical challenges to the student or performers are always well within the players capabilities.
Brouwer's early works were influenced by his native Cuban folk music. During the 1960s and 70s however, he developed an interest in the music of modernist composers Luigi Nono and Iannis XenakisI. His more recent solo guitar works El Decamerón Negro (1981) the Sonata (1990) written for Julian Bream and Paisaje cubano con campanas (1986) are testament of this.
20 Études Simples (Estudios Sencillos) 
Études Simples are often described as a good introduction to guitar students of 20th century music. They contain all the elements required to establish a solid foundation in guitar technique. These include scale passages, slurs, chords, specific left and right hand studies, ornament studies and Brouwer also makes good use of complete silences (rest) in some pieces. Interpreting each piece is also a study in itself as they are full of contrasting dynamics and challenging phrasing.
Brouwer wrote No1-10 and 11-20 at different stages in his life. They were deliberately pedagogical and written for his own pupils he was teaching at the time. It is quite evident that his compositional development was maturing by the time he wrote No11-20 as they are richer in form and texture.
The title Études Simples can easily be misinterpreted. ‘Simple’ on the ear maybe however, many are virtuosic when following the composers instructions. No 6 and 7 is marked Lo Mas Rapido Posible (as fast as possible) for example, while No 3 and 20 are marked Movido: Rapido (restless, rapidly).

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