HK Guitar Duo | HK Guitar Duo Plays Mozart

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HK Guitar Duo Plays Mozart

by HK Guitar Duo

Classical guitar duo
Genre: Classical: Mozart
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: I. Molto allegro (Arr. for Guitar)
HK Guitar Duo
7:56 $0.99
2. Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: II. Andante (Arr. for Guitar)
HK Guitar Duo
7:34 $0.99
3. Symphony no. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: III. Minuet and Trio (Arr. for Guitar)
HK Guitar Duo
4:50 $0.99
4. Symphony no. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: IV. Finale (Arr. for Guitar)
HK Guitar Duo
5:27 $0.99
5. Duo for Violin and Viola in G, K. 423: I. Allegro (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
7:18 $0.99
6. Duo for Violin and Viola in G, K. 423: II. Adagio (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
3:47 $0.99
7. Duo for Violin and Viola in G, K. 423: III. Allegro (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
5:13 $0.99
8. Piano Sonata No. 8 in a Minor, K. 310: I. Allegro maestoso (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
6:08 $0.99
9. Piano Sonata No. 8 in a Minor, K. 310: II. Andante cantabile con espressione (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
7:34 $0.99
10. Piano Sonata No. 8 in a Minor, K. 310: III. Presto (Arr. for Guitar)
Hk Guitar Duo
3:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The idea to arrange Mozart's 40th symphony for two guitars came about during a break in a recording session in 2008. Drew and I took turns playing the famous opening melody by ear and improvising accompaniment to it, and agreed that it would be fun to put it together for performance some day. Working initially from an arrangement by Hummel for piano, we completed a preliminary version of the first movement. From there, we consulted the orchestral score and started a long series of revisions (too many to count) over the next ten years to arrive at the arrangement of the full symphony heard on this disc.

This arrangement makes use of an eight string guitar, featuring two extra bass strings, along with a traditional six string instrument. The added bass notes are necessary to execute certain passages at their proper pitch in order to maintain contrapuntal integrity. We have, of course, made changes in range and texture throughout the work to make it more idiomatic to the guitar, but our goal throughout the arranging process was to stay as close to Mozart's original score as possible.

The duo for violin and viola was naturally a much simpler process. The only changes to the original score that we felt necessary were some subtle additions to fill out chords or sometimes create octaves from single note lines. In the second movement, some ornamentation has been added to compensate for the guitar's lack of sustain, compared to a bowed instrument.

Once we had the symphony and the duo arranged and ready to record, we realized we needed one more piece to complete the album. A piano sonata seemed like it would round out the program nicely, so we started to explore which ones might work for our instruments. This time, we found an arrangement for two violins of the Piano Sonata in A minor, which made the process of sight reading the piece much easier, and gave us assurance that an arrangement for two guitars would be possible.



to write a review

Tom Poore

Guitar Playing That Meets Mozart At His Own Level
We’re treading on sacred ground here. Mozart’s K. 550 is one of his best known symphonies, and K. 310 is one of his most popular piano sonatas. So guitarists Drew Henderson and Michael Kolk are stepping into the ring with the heavyweights of classical music. How will they fare in the ears of connoisseurs accustomed to the likes of—just to name a few—Ingrid Haebler, Clara Haskil, Otto Klemperer, and Bruno Walter?

Happily, the HK Guitar Duo holds its own. This is impeccable playing for a composer who demands nothing less. The extraneous noises that often plague guitar recordings are virtually absent here. More to the expressive point, phrasing and articulation are well attuned to these monuments of late 18th century music. Mozart devotees will find little to niggle over.

Guitar enthusiasts might not at first warm to this recording. Mozart needs restraint, and wise players will deploy with caution some of the flashier effects possible on the guitar. Those weaned on more extroverted guitar playing may find this recording expressively remote. So be it. Henderson and Kolk have chosen to meet Mozart on his own terms. Rather than remake Mozart to the guitar, they instead reshape the guitar to Mozart. In the right hands, the guitar is up to the task.

Indeed, these arrangements work surprisingly well. There are a few losses. For example, in K. 550’s first movement, there’s a bassoon solo at the start of the recapitulation that I dearly love for its aching sadness—it’s absent in this guitar setting. But there are gains. One hears Mozart’s supple counterpoint with greater clarity, particularly in K. 550.

This recording won’t displace the originals. (Doubtless, this was never the HK Guitar Duo’s intent.) But it offers old friends in new clothes. And it becomes them.