New Renaissance now available!
With a rich discography of over fifteen recordings, the pioneering Los Angeles Guitar Quartet has firmly established themselves as the "State of the Art" in guitar ensembles. Their repertoire runs the gamut from Bach to gamelan, from reggae to rock, and from Classical warhorses to incisive modern works. Throughout, LAGQ has stretched the sonic and stylistic possibilities of the guitar quartet. Their sense of experimentation has taken them to the far reaches ofthe musical map, all informed with their trademark "LAGQ Sound". This met its full realization in their GRAMMY® award-winning "LAGQ's Guitar Heroes", with homages to guitarists as diverse as Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix and Pat Metheny. Their highly anticipated new release—New Renaissance—marks a return to the early music themes of their hit 1992 recording "Dances from Renaissance to Nutcracker", but this time infused with a distinctly modern aesthetic.
The featured work of the project is Music from the Time of Cervantes, a sixteen-‐movement suite originally created for LAGQ's theatrical hit "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote". The show premiered in 2009, starring John Cleese as narrator. Freely weaving dramatic storytelling with musical accompaniment, the production evokes 16th century La Mancha with dances, songs and romances that the author might have heard in his lifetime. Presented here for the first time without narration, this world-‐premiere recording shows off the colorful arrangements of William Kanengiser; ranging from delicate to raucous,these modern adaptations suggest Renaissance lutes, vihuelas, crumhorns, zithers and Moorish percussion. It’s a sonic adventure for the ears!
New Renaissance also offers the world-‐premiere recording of two contemporary works especially crafted for LAGQ. The brilliant American composer Ian Krouse created a new guitar quartet arrangement of his Music in Four Sharps (On Dowland's Frog Galliard). Based on one of the most popular pieces by the Elizabethan lute master John Dowland, this major work constructs a grand emotional arc with the theme at its apex. The textures and colors explore the full range of the guitar's possibilities, from the quietest harmonics to the most furious rasgueados.
Expressly for this recording, LAGQ commissioned their friend and gifted composer Dušan Bogdanović to write a new piece. Dušan's style ranges from African to Asian to jazz to Balkan, but underpinning all his work is a fascination for the works of Italian lutenist and master composer Francesco da Milano. The resultant piece, Six Ricercars on a Theme by F.C. da Milano, is based on one of Milano's Fantasias (Ricercar #38). Each ricercar treats the theme in increasingly kaleidoscopic ways, incorporating African polyrhythms, Balkan asymmetric meters, jazz harmonies and polytonality in a completely unique and contemporary way.