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MP3 Luis Engelke & Michael Decker - Songs, Remembrances, and Impressions - Music for Trumpet and Guitar

While rarely heard together as a duo, trumpet and classical guitar make for an unlikely yet dynamic combination. Timeless classics, unknown gems, and engaging new works highlight this eclectic album by two internationally recognized artists.

15 MP3 Songs in this album (55:38) !
Related styles: Classical: Impressionism, Classical: Chamber Music, Instrumental

People who are interested in Laurindo de Almeida Rafael Méndez should consider this download.

While rarely heard together as a duo, trumpet and classical guitar make for an unlikely yet dynamic combination. The legendary sounds of Rafael Méndez and Laurindo de Almeida who provided the first recording for this genre have inspired musicians for years and delighted listeners. However, because published arrangements have been non-existent and original works for trumpet and guitar are extremely rare, few performers have embarked on this genre. The music of this recording passes on the legacy of Méndez and Almeida with modern arrangements of many 20th-century classics and forges new ground with original works written specifically for the Engelke/Decker Duo. The opening piece, an original work by Rafael Méndez, was inspired by the Latin-American genre titled Bambuco, which utilizes a quick change between 6/8 and 3/4 meter. Bambucos are often referred to as the unofficial music of Colombia. These types of songs took a foothold in the Andean region of Colombia but later spread in popularity throughout Latin America.

Frenchmen Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), and Claude Debussy (1862-1918) were among the most innovative composers of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Impressionism championed new colors and textures. Although these masters wrote historic passages for trumpet in the orchestral repertoire, their writing neglected the trumpet as a solo instrument. Likewise, the lesser-known Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) contributed only one short solo trumpet work. Several of these composers’ best-known masterpieces are rendered in fresh and invigorating settings for trumpet and guitar. Both Ravel’s Pièce en Forme de Habanera (1907) and Ibert’s Entr’ Acte (1937) include Spanish influence. Fauré’s “Sicilienne” from Pelléas et Mélisande (1900) and especially Debussy’s La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin (ca. 1910) comprise some of the most beautiful melodies ever written.

Best known by the nickname “Pixinguinha,” Alfredo de Rocha Viana, Jr. (1898-1973) was one of the leading composers and musicians in the Brazilian genre of chôro. His Carinhoso (Beloved One) was written in 1917, and João de Barro added lyrics twenty years later. Carinhoso is one of the best-known and most nostalgic songs within Brazilian culture. Dímas Sedícias (1930-2002) was principal percussionist with Orquestra Sinfônica de Recife and a versatile, self-taught composer. His heritage and knowledge of both popular and academic music styles permeates his compositions for brass. Requiem para um Novillero (1980) combines a beautiful lyrical compositional style for the trumpet with a hint of Flamenco influence in the guitar.

Italian musicologist, music critic, and composer Remo Giazotto completed Adagio in G minor in 1948. Giazotto stated that the work was based on a fragment from Tomaso Albinoni’s Sonata in G minor discovered among the ruins of the old Saxon State Library in Dresden after being destroyed by the allies during World War II. The work is recognized as one of the best-known Baroque compositions even though it was written during the 20th century. The Adagio in G minor has been used in several film scores and television series. Bernardino Monterdi’s classic La Virgin de la Macarena embodies the spirit of the Spanish bullfighter. Rafael Méndez (1906-1981) was legendary both because of his technique and musicianship, although most listeners are immediately awestruck by his technique. Romanza may be his most beautiful original composition, and the work clearly depicts the passion Méndez had for both life and music.

The final four works on the CD were all conceived within the past two decades. With the exception of the final piece, all were commissioned by the Engelke/Decker Duo: the first two for a recital at the 2005 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Formerly a classroom teacher, award-winning Finnish composer Jukka Vittasaari (b. 1961) is influenced by his diverse background that includes everything from jazz to 1970s cover bands. His contributions have included many interesting works for wind band and brass, as well as solo instruments. His background as both a tubist and guitarist inspired him in writing Sandman’s Day Off (2005), an engaging new work for trumpet and guitar. San Francisco-based composer and sound engineer Scott T. Miller (b. 1981) conceived Sonitude for Trumpet and Guitar in 2005 as a one-movement work influenced by the greatest sonatas for trumpet. The work alternates between lyrical melodies exposed by the trumpet over guitar ostinati and frenetic sections with virtuoso writing for both instruments.

Brazilian Antonio Guerreiro (b. 1949) studied with renowned composer César Guerra-Peixe, who became Guerreiro’s close friend and primary mentor. Currently, Guerreiro is professor of music theory at Universidade do Rio de Janeiro. Like Vittasaari, Guerreiro also has a background in diverse styles, from classical to “garage band,” and these experiences assist in writing innovative and invigorating new works. His Serenata e Dança (2008) was written for the Engelke/Decker Duo in 2008. Rio de Janeiro has a long tradition of popular songs such serestas and serenatas. The second section employs many syncopations and cross rhythms in compound meter. Juilliard professor and composer Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) has contributed many outstanding works including standards for solo trumpet and for brass quintet. To Music, to becalm his Fever (1992) was originally the third and final movement of a piece for voice and guitar. Reworked and raised in key, the song becomes a moving showcase for the lyrical qualities of the trumpet and guitar combination.

The Artists

Brazilian-American trumpet artist, educator, and scholar Luis Engelke is Professor of Trumpet and Director of the Master of Music program at Towson University, Principal Trumpet of the Kennett Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Principal Trumpet of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. He performs well over one hundred engagements annually as a soloist and orchestral/chamber musician and serves as a Music Reviews Editor for the International Trumpet Guild Journal, a member of the Board of Directors for the International Trumpet Guild, and a Yamaha Performing Artist. Solo appearances have brought him throughout North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia, and he has appeared on more than 20 commercially released recordings for the Pro-Arte, Decca, Innova, Aurora, and several other labels. His performances and research into Latin music are highlighted by his first solo CD titled A Brazilian Collection, an anthology published by Balquhidder Music under the same title and containing editions of significant Brazilian solo trumpet works, and many world and modern premieres of Latin-American works for solo trumpet. These include premieres and/or the first performances and recordings of lost works by noted Brazilian composers Claudio Santoro, José Siqueira, and Santana Gomes, as well as first performances of music from the library Mexican-American legendary Rafael Méndez since his passing in 1981. Hailed as “one of the greatest Brazilian talents of his generation” by Isaac Karabatchevsky (former conductor of Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira), Engelke’s performance has been described as having a “light feel with many beautifully rendered ethnic embellishments,” possessing a “vigor and a tasteful array of rubato,” and a “mastery of the horn with many subtle tone colors and always a beautiful sound” (ITG Journal).

As a member of Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Engelke recorded trumpet solos for soundtracks for the films Villa-Lobos: Sua Vida de Paixão, Stories of the Land, and Elefteria. He has performed with orchestras internationally including the Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Mid Atlantic Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Maryland Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, Annapolis Opera, Harrisburg Opera, Orquestra Pro-Música, Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra, Pro-Music Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and the Thailand Philharmonic. He has appeared as a soloist with ensembles all over the world including Orquestra Eintracht, Rome Festival Orchestra, Naval Academy Band, Gulf Coast Symphony, Frederick Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Lancaster British Brass Band and performed with such diverse musicians as Andrea Bocelli, and Brazilian legends Paulo Moura, Ivan Lins, and Ze da Velha. Engelke’s work in popular music includes appearances with The Moody Blues and Ricky Martin. His brass ensemble and chamber music appearances include Bay Street Brassworks, Rio Brass Quintet, and Rio Trumpet Ensemble.

Engelke’s writing includes more than 200 publications in the ITG Journal, Euro-ITG Newsletter, Jazz Educators Journal, NACWPI Journal, The Double Reed, and Triad. Topp Brass in Switzerland and Triplo Press in the USA published several of his arrangements and editions. His articles include “Twenty-First Practice Techniques” or the use of modern technologies in brass pedagogy; the history and literature of the trumpet including “Twentieth Century Brazilian Trumpet Works” and the music of Baroque composer Johann Melchior Molter; and jazz education, the national standards, and other education related issues and topics. The following organizations have supported him through scholarships and grants from the following organizations: CAPES-Fulbright, Music Teachers National Association, International Trumpet Guild, and Rádio Mec. He has taught at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, Arizona State University, Ohio State University, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Florida State University Music Camps and appeared as a soloist and presented lectures in many regional, national, and international conferences sponsored by such organizations as the International Trumpet Guild, Music Educators National Committee, and the College Music Society. A frequent lecturer and guest artist, he has presented master classes and recitals throughout the world including Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Appalachian State University, Central Michigan University, the University of Connecticut, West Chester University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Texas Christian University, James Madison University, Montgomery College, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), and Mahidol University (Thailand). He holds the DMA from Arizona State University, an MM and an MA The Ohio State University, and a BM and BME from Florida State University. His principal teachers include David Hickman, Bryan Goff, Edward Tarr, Richard Burkart, and Larry Black.

Michael Decker is Professor of Music and head of the programs in guitar performance and music business at Towson University in Baltimore. He received his M.M. from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with and became of protégé of renowned classical guitar pedagogue Aaron Shearer. He also studied jazz guitar with Bobby Doran and performed in master classes with Michael Lorimer, David Russell, José Tomas, Johnny Smith, and Howard Roberts. Decker performs as a free-lance guitarist specializing in chamber music and orchestral repertoire. He has been guitarist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 1975 and has recorded and performed as soloist with the orchestra. In 2005 he also toured with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 1995 Decker has been guitarist for the Washington National Opera Orchestra and in 1995 he created the onstage rondalla for the Opera’s Kennedy Center Production of Doña Francisquita. In 2002 he was invited to join the WNO’s Japan tour accompanying Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. In 1995 Decker toured with the National Symphony Orchestra and played principal mandolin for their Grammy Award winning Song/CBS Masterworks recording of John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1: Of Rage and Remembrance. Since 2005 he has been guitarist with the orchestra and has performed with the NSO for the nationally televised Memorial Day and 4th of July concerts from the US Capitol; these concerts are attended by tens of thousands and viewed by millions more on the PBS broadcasts. While his primary instrument is classical guitar, Decker is acclaimed as a doubler who has performed on every type of guitar as well as related instruments such as mandolin, tenor banjo, bouzouki, ukulele, cavaquinho and requinto. Due to his versatility he has been a first-call player for Broadway shows. From 1978 to 2001 he performed extended engagements with national touring companies for over thirty musicals and music coordinator for the Spanish language Latin American tour of Evita. Decker also performed on more than one hundred recording including two recipients of Grammy Awards and one RIAA-certified gold record.

Also recognized as a scholar, Decker’s writings have been published in the principal English-language guitar journals (Soundboard, The American String Teacher, Guitar Review and Classical Guitar and two were translated and published in Italian and Japanese. Supporting by a 2007 sabbatical from Towson University, Decker painstakingly reconstructed a full score and parts for the Paul Hart Concert for Classical Guitar and Jazz Orchestra. He performed the American premiere in 2008, and his edition of the concerto is now published by Stanza Music, London. Decker’s performance with trumpet were inspired by his friendship with Laurindo Almeida, who provided his with hand copied scores created for the legendary recording with Rafaél Mendez. His first performances of trumpet duets were with Charles J. Long in York, PA and later with Baltimore Symphony principal trumpet Don Tison. Decker dedicates his performances on this recording to his mother, Betty Jane Decker, and his friend and musical mentor, Creston F. Ottemiller, Jr.

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