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MP3 Andrew Winner, classical guitar - An Italian Serenade

Beautiful virtuoso solo classical guitar arrangements of Neapolitan and Italian folk songs.

19 MP3 Songs in this album (50:12) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Romantic Era, WORLD: Mediterranean

People who are interested in John Williams Julian Bream Andrés Segovia should consider this download.

The first recording of its kind: an album of Neapolitan and Italian folk songs beautifully arranged for solo guitar.
All tracks are solo recordings- this album contains no overdubbing.

The history of the guitar in Italy is as long and deep as that of Spain. Many of the early masters of the guitar were Italian. The names of Carcassi, Carulli, Giuliani, de Ferranti, and Legnani form the short list of better-known early Italian guitarist/composers. A true testament to the guitar’s Italian popularity, the great violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini played and composed for the instrument and referred to it as his traveling companion.
Unfortunately, the lives of these Italian guitarist/composers did not correspond with the time when the Neapolitan song was at its peak of popularity; however, it is only natural that the great songs of the Italian and Neapolitan tradition should be embraced by the guitar tradition championed by the early Italian masters. The Spanish guitar master Francisco Tarrega recognized the beauty of the Neapolitan song and may have had a similar thought when he arranged “O Sole Mio” for solo guitar.
This collection includes both Italian folk and Neapolitan music arranged for solo guitar. Unlike the present, the contents are from a time when there was not as much distinction between folk, popular, and art music. Folk music is created by ordinary people and passed through successive generations—usually orally. The hallmark of these songs is the combination of infectious rhythmic motives with simple but memorable melodies.
Neapolitan music is often mistaken for folk music; however, it was music crafted by trained composers that combined aria or folk–like melodies, familiar rhythms, and subtle harmonies to create a masterful illusion of simplicity. As with the operatic aria, the lyrics were most often penned by a separate poet or librettist.
While interesting, such distinctions ultimately become academic and are transcended by the music’s charm. It is a testament to their success that these “composed” works have passed to and through the folk tradition to become some of the world’s most popular songs. In fact, many of these songs were among the first-ever recorded. Enrico Caruso suggested no qualitative distinction between the opera aria and the Neapolitan song in recording and treated them as equally valid vehicles of expression.
To many these songs conjure thoughts of life, love, loss, joy, longing, beauty, youth, and idealized settings. To others these songs simply summon one thought: Italy! As guitar solos they embrace the masterful illusion of simplicity that requires no lyrics to suggest these nostalgic images and sentiments.

Andrew Winner
Cincinnati, autumn 2008

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