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Christopher Mallett | The Porcelain Tower

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: Twentieth Century Moods: Solo Instrumental
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The Porcelain Tower

by Christopher Mallett

20th century music for solo classical guitar from around the world that blurs the boundaries between musical styles.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Zapateado
2:37 $0.99
2. Rondeña
3:55 $0.99
3. Jazz Sonatina: I. Allegro Grazioso
2:49 $0.99
4. Jazz Sonatina: II. Adagio espressivo
2:23 $0.99
5. Jazz Sonatina: III. Allegro molto
2:56 $0.99
6. Danza in E Minor
3:59 $0.99
7. The Porcelain Tower: Theme
0:53 $0.99
8. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: I. March - The Yellow Paper Dragon
1:39 $0.99
9. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: II. Waltz - Bamboo Umbrella
1:57 $0.99
10. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: III. Sarabande - Sphere Inside Sphere
2:54 $0.99
11. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: IV. Galop - Red Hiroglyph's Dance
1:26 $0.99
12. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: V. Nocturne - Silk Screen
3:07 $0.99
13. The Porcelain Tower, Variation: VI. Toccata - Fox - Werewolf
3:10 $0.99
14. The Porcelain Tower, Finale: Nephrite Emperor
1:45 $0.99
15. Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1: I. Allegretto
4:30 $0.99
16. Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1: II. Lento
3:25 $0.99
17. Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1: III. Rondo
3:45 $0.99
18. Etude No. 7
2:35 $0.99
19. Etude No. 12
2:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Perhaps best known as the dedicatee of Joaquin Rodrigo’s famous Concerto de Aranjuez, Regino Sainz de la Maza was also an accomplished guitarist, composer, and teacher. Zapateado is a lively dance that requires skillful footwork. The composition features extensive use of hemiola (alternating 3/4 and 6/8 rhythms). Rondeña is a Spanish form derived from the Fandango that originated in the town of Ronda in the province of Malaga. Both compositions exhibit Sainz de la Maza’s ability to blend fiery rhythms with gentle and beautiful folk-like melodies.

The compositions of Serbian-born guitarist and composer Dušan Bogdanović are highly diverse, displaying his broad musical influences and deep knowledge of numerous genres, including classical, world, folk, and jazz music. Bogdanović’s Jazz Sonatina blurs musical lines by fusing classical forms with jazz harmonies. The piece also features several techniques that are frequently found in blues and rock music such as bending notes and left hand tapping.

Born in Argentina, Jorge Morel has contributed significantly to the classical guitar’s repertoire by composing accessible contemporary works that have been performed by guitarists all over the world. The hauntingly beautiful arpeggios that flow throughout Morel’s Danza in E Minor are interwoven with melodic scale passages and lively rhythms from South America.

Russian Composer Nikita Koshkin’s Porcelain Tower is a set of variations based on a theme by composer Stepan Rak. It is one of Koshkin’s less programmatic works, in which he strays from using the trademark effects that he employed in the Prince’s Toys, which had helped him gain popularity. It is only in the Finale that Koshkin finally incorporates subtle effects that replicate the sound of a Chinese instrument. The piece is named after the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, an ancient Chinese pagoda.

Composed in 1957, Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1 was dedicated to Julian Bream, who gave its premiere in 1958. The first movement is in sonata form and is reminiscent of flamenco music with its rapid scale passages and climactic rasgueado strumming in the development section. The second movement establishes a more somber tone, which begins with a single idea that is developed into thick textures that recall the music of the French impressionists. The final movement is a brisk rondo that is interspersed with slow delicate melodic sections and comes to an end with a lively coda.

A highly prolific composer, Heitor Villa Lobos’ works for the guitar are only a small part of his massive output. The Twelve Etudes were composed in the late 1920s and dedicated to his friend, Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia. Etude 7 is divided into four sections and exploits the technical possibilities of the guitar, which include rapid descending scales, melodic arpeggios, shifting parallel chords, and complex trills. Etude 12 is a glissando study, which features quick shifting parallel chords that are contrasted with a hypnotic middle section with repeated bass notes.

- Christopher Mallett - San Francisco, 2014



to write a review

Tim Johnson

Mr. Mallett has created an outstanding debut solo recording with pieces that are in need of more recordings. An essential addition to all serious guitar enthusiasts.