David Norton & Cindy Spell | Avenues

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Avenues

by David Norton & Cindy Spell

Classical guitar duo Norton and Spell play duets and solos from Elizabethan England to the 21st century, including first CD recordings of works by Andrew York, Benoit Albert, Laurent Meneret, and Andrew Shiels.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. No. 8 in G Major
David Norton & Cindy Spell
0:58 album only
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2. No. 3 in D Major
David Norton & Cindy Spell
0:59 album only
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3. No. 12 in D Minor
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:07 album only
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4. No. 17 in D Major
David Norton & Cindy Spell
2:11 album only
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5. Polonaise Concertante, Op. 137, No. 2
David Norton & Cindy Spell
6:06 album only
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6. Waltz for Two Guitars
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:29 album only
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7. Printemps
Cindy Spell
1:09 album only
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8. Ete
Cindy Spell
1:13 album only
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9. Automne
Cindy Spell
1:34 album only
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10. Hiver
Cindy Spell
1:51 album only
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11. Lesson for Two Lutes
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:24 album only
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12. La Rossignol
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:41 album only
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13. Drewrie's Accordes
David Norton & Cindy Spell
2:28 album only
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14. The Flatt Pavin
David Norton & Cindy Spell
2:42 album only
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15. Galliard to the Flatt Pavin
David Norton & Cindy Spell
2:01 album only
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16. Sancho
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:41 album only
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17. El Caballero
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:20 album only
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18. Dulcinee
David Norton & Cindy Spell
1:43 album only
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19. Rossinante
David Norton & Cindy Spell
2:00 album only
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20. Prelude
David Norton
1:45 album only
clip
21. Chorale
David Norton
1:37 album only
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22. Bouree
David Norton
2:11 album only
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23. Sarabande
David Norton
2:04 album only
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24. Gigue
David Norton
1:25 album only
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25. Who Is Eve?
David Norton & Cindy Spell
5:52 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In this debut recording, classical guitar duo David Norton and Cindy Spell travel paths of place and time from the Garden of Eden to the 21st century. Spend a year in France, visit Elizabethan England, study with a 19th century Italian virtuoso, hear a baroque suite framed in a new day (and just five frets), and join Don Quixote on a tuneful quest.
Enjoy the journey!

"In landscaping, an avenue is traditionally a straight route with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each side, which is used, as its French source venir (”to come”) indicates, to emphasize the "coming to," or arrival at a landscape or architectural feature. In most cases, the trees planted in an avenue will be all of the same species ... so as to give uniform appearance along the full length of the avenue."
- ”Avenue.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

In the context of this recording, "Avenues" has several references. First, the idea of a tree-lined route certainly aligns with a classical guitar duo, with various species of wood being used to build the instruments. Second, ”The Avenues” is the name of an historic neighborhood overlooking downtown Salt Lake City where most of the music heard here was first practiced and performed by the artists. Within the alphanumeric grid of shaded streets can be found representations of architectural trends from the 1890s to the 1970s, seeming to mirror the eclectic set of music in this collection. Finally, in the generalized context of an avenue as being a type of road where things and people come together, it can certainly refer to the coming together of these two players, one from California (David Norton) and the other from North Carolina (Cindy Spell), meeting far away from their respective points of origin.

Now, to the music at hand.

Ferdinando Carulli’s name is very well known among guitarists, and his simpler exercises and waltzes form the foundation of nearly every classical guitar student’s earliest lessons. He wrote some 400 compositions for the guitar, in the forms of solos, duos, ensemble works with violin, piano, or flute, and a pair of fully orchestrated guitar concerti. The four selections on this disc come from a set of 24 duets for two guitars, and Carulli published them several times in the various reprintings of his Méthode Compléte, with slightly different numberings at times. (The numbers shown here correspond to the numberings for two of the three editions used). There have been very few recordings made of these works, which is surprising, given their tunefullness and general cheery dispositions.

Mauro Giuliani was one of the most famed guitar virtuosi of Biedermeier Vienna, and participated (as cellist) in the premiere performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Giuliani’s Tre Polonesi Concertanti, op. 137, were published posthumously in 1836. The polonaise is a stately Polish processional dance in triple meter; the name itself is French for "Polish." As with the Carulli works, these are enjoyable pieces for both the performers and the listeners.

The American composer Andrew York is one of the most prominent classical guitar writers of the modern era. His works have been performed and recorded by such luminaries as John Williams, Christopher Parkening, and Sharon Isbin, among others. For 16 years, York was a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and won a Grammy with the LAGQ in 2005. This Waltz for Two Guitars was written in 1990; this is its first known appearance on CD.

Les 4 Saisons (The 4 Seasons) by Benoît Albert is a charming set of sketches featuring Ms. Spell as the soloist. The composer shared these words about the piece:

"Written in 2004, Les 4 Saisons, which were originally titled Les 4 saisons pour le guitariste en herbe (The 4 seasons for the young guitarist), were commissioned for a collection of pedagogical short pieces by the French publisher Delatour. At that time they were published along with pieces by Michel Dalle-Ave, Roque Carbajo and Dominique Charpagne. They are now available at Les Productions d’Oz in Canada.
It's very interesting how melodies and themes can be around you for years as if they had some more secrets to tell you! Six years after, in 2010, I wrote an orchestration of these seasons for guitar ensemble and violin or flute (Commission from the Lens Conservatory - France) and as I speak I'm still working on violin and guitar duets based on the same material.
I wanted to thank Cindy Spell who is the first to record this ensemble of pieces."

- Benoît ALBERT, Toulouse, April 26th 2015

The three anonymous lute pieces and the two works by John Johnson all come from the England of Elizabeth I. The Lesson is a simple piece in the form of an almain. La Rossignol means ”The Nightingale” and there are many instances of bird calls to be heard in the imitative writing. Drewrie’s Accordes is a three-part fantasia, which conjures up visions of the pealing of church bells in Olde Londontown. The Flatt Pavin and its companion Galliard are representative of a common compositional trick of the time, that of taking a particular melodic idea and treating it first in common time, then using the same melody recast in triple meter. The word ”flatt” is a period term referring to a somber mood, and, to answer the obvious question: Yes, the lute repertory DOES include a work entitled The Sharpp Pavin by Richard Allison. Since Johnson and Allison were contemporaries who no doubt knew each other in the small community of professional lutenists living and performing in London at the time, there is a strong possibility that the two composers punningly titled these works as opposites for obscure reasons known only to themselves.

Sur les traces de Don Quichotte (In the footsteps of Don Quixote) was written in 2005 by the French guitarist Laurent Méneret. Its basis is the 1605 novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, with the four movements cast as musical portraits of the primary characters of the book: Sancho Panza, Don Quixote himself, the love interest Dulcinea, and finally the knight’s faithful horse, Rocinante. Technical note: A string mute is used in the first movement to simulate the clopping sounds of the horse’s hooves. As with the Waltz and Les 4 Saisons, this album marks the first CD recording of Méneret’s suite.

The fourth composition receiving its first professional recording is the Little Suite for Guitar, written in 1983 by the Irish composer Andrew Shiels and performed here by Mr. Norton. The five movements are crafted in a neo-baroque style, and (curiously) use just the notes of the first five frets of the guitar - no more and no less. Only in the final movement, the gigue, are the neo-baroque coverings pulled aside briefly and a true Irish Jig emerges for a moment or two.

The disc concludes with the first piece that Ms. Spell and Mr. Norton performed together, Who Is Eve? by the Croatian guitarist Miroslav Lončar who lives and teaches in the Washington, DC area. The title refers to”Eve” from the Book of Genesis, and was written for an art lecture whose theme was various artistic representations of Eve: The First Woman. The composer states that, in keeping with multiple artistic approaches, his score draws on diverse influences such as Byzantine church modes, flamenco, and rock-n-roll. It’s a fun piece, full of energy, and a crowd pleaser as well.

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