Johann Sebastian Bach must have been a very complex man. His music expresses such a diverse range of emotions that he can''t quite be pinned down as a "romantic", "intellectual", "austere", "minimalist", "impressionist", or any other "type" of composer. Each piece (if not movement) of his is its own world. One could say the Sarabande (BWV 995) is an austere, intellectual exercise. But it''s more than that. Its emotional impact can be harrowing. The Allemande from the same suite and the Prelude in D minor (BWV 999) could be considered minimalist works. Both are built on simple motifs. But witness the romanticism of the Allemande and the insistent bitter-sweetness of the Prelude. Then there''s Bach the "impressionist'' (at least to me) at work in the Prelude in D major (BWV 1007) and the Allemande (BWV 996). Did anyone say drama? Just listen to the Preludes from both suites. Up for a dance? The Gigue (BWV 995) and Courante (BWV 996). And there''s no end to the multifariousness of this enigmatic man whose personality we know very little about. It is a challenge and a joyous work to become immersed in this emotional universe as a performer and a listener.
It''s interesting to note that we also know very little about Domenico Scarlatti''s personality. We do know that he wrote over 600 sonatas for the harpsichord. He, like Bach, is one of those few composers of whom one can say his every work is a masterpiece. There isn''t one sonata of his (that I''ve heard) that one could dismiss as "all right" or mediocre. These two sonatas are particularly festive. Luckily for us guitarists, Scarlatti sonatas seem to transcribe well and sound idiomatic on our instrument. Could it be the Spanish influence?
Mr. Roldán has performed throughout the United States at Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall and CAMI Hall in New York, Harmony Hall in Maryland, St. Paul''s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, for the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Puffin Gallery, the Colombian Consulates in New York and in Boston, the Smithsonian Library in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the City of New York, Round Top Music Festival, the Spanish Institute, Gracie Mansion, the Americas Society, and various universities and libraries. This year his itinerary also included the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. He has also played in Bogotá, Colombia and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the summer of 2006 Mr. Roldán played a recital in Bogotá at the Fernando Sor School of Music and was immediately invited back to teach in their annual Guitar Festival in November, 2006, and to perform another recital. He has played various concerti and has participated in numerous chamber music recitals with choruses, singers and instrumentalists. He has accompanied acclaimed flamenco dancer Pilar Rioja at the Repertorio Español theatre in NYC for the past 8 seasons. In 1999 he was invited to perform Rodrigo''s Concierto de Aranjuez in two performances with the Celebrate! orchestra under the direction of Laurine Fox and was received with much public and critical acclaim. In the 2000 season he played a solo recital at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall under the auspices of the Aranjuez Guitar Strings Series. In 1996 Mr. Roldán was invited to play a recital at the United Nations for the Colombian Consulate Independence Day Celebration. This year he released his second CD titled Almost All Bach in which he interprets the music of Bach and Scarlatti. His first CD of solo music, titled Latin Guitar (in which he interprets the music of Barrios, Lauro, and which contains the World Premiere recording of the Dominican composer Rafael Landestoy''s complete works for guitar), was released in 2003. They can both be heard and purchased at https://www.tradebit.com.
Colombian-born guitarist Francisco Roldán has been entertaining audiences since his early years at the Mannes College of Music. He received annual scholarships and attained the Master''s Degree in Performance from the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Roldán subsequently supplemented his studies by playing in master classes for Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, and Paul Odette. In the spring of 1993 he gave a solo New York debut recital at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall that launched his career as a soloist.
Francisco Roldán is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension and Preparatory Divisions and at Lehman College, City University of New York.
"Francisco José Roldán interpreted the Aranjuéz with a maximum display of technique and security...showing exquisiteness and dominion." La Voz Hispana
"Mr. Roldán gave a performance of the Krenek Suite as good as I have ever heard...his Invocación y la danza was played with technical dominion..." Soundboard
"Mr. Roldán is a virtuoso and interprets the music with a magical tone..."
Noticias del Mundo
"Mr. Roldán is clearly a virtuoso and an asset to the Colombian community..."
Noticiero Colombiano e Hispano
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