Impressions of Spain

New Arrangements For Three Guitars

The Great Necks Guitar Trio

Isaac Albéniz composer
Maurice Ravel composer
Enrique Granados composer
Joaquín Turina composer
Manuel de Falla composer

Release Date: May 20, 2022
Catalog #: NV6430
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Guitar

On IMPRESSIONS OF SPAIN from Navona Records, the critically acclaimed guitar trio enchants and excites with their performance of Spanish-influenced works from master composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Arranged and adapted for guitar trio by Gregg Nestor, the unexplored repertoire of five composers cascades across guitar frets in this recording, communicating themes of love, poetry and literature, spanish dance, and the spirit of Spain itself through music. Experience the works of Isaac Albéniz, Maurice Ravel, Enrique Granados, Joaquín Turina, and Manuel de Falla through a new and virtuosic voice.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Suite from The Magic Opal: Prelude Isaac Albéniz, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 2:10
02 Suite from The Magic Opal: Intermezzo Isaac Albéniz, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 9:00
03 Suite from The Magic Opal: Ballet Isaac Albéniz, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 3:56
04 Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: Chanson romanesque Maurice Ravel, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 1:52
05 Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: Chanson épique Maurice Ravel, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 2:55
06 Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: Chanson à boire Maurice Ravel, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 1:42
07 Cinco Pièzas Populares: Añoranza Enrique Granados, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 2:57
08 Cinco Pièzas Populares: Zambra Enrique Granados, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 5:30
09 Cinco Pièzas Populares: Zapateado Enrique Granados, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 4:35
10 Cinco Pièzas Populares: Moresque Enrique Granados, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 3:51
11 Cinco Pièzas Populares: Miel de la Alcarria Enrique Granados, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 5:50
12 Poema en forma de Canciones: Dedicatoria Joaquín Turina, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 2:23
13 Poema en forma de Canciones: Nunca olvida Joaquín Turina, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 1:52
14 Poema en forma de Canciones: Cantares Joaquín Turina, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 1:40
15 Poema en forma de Canciones: Los dos miedos Joaquín Turina, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 2:58
16 Poema en forma de Canciones: Las locas por amor Joaquín Turina, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 1:14
17 Cuatro Pièzas Españolas: Aragonesa Manuel de Falla, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 3:13
18 Cuatro Pièzas Españolas: Cubana Manuel de Falla, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 3:55
19 Cuatro Pièzas Españolas: Montañesa (Paysage) Manuel de Falla, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 4:33
20 Cuatro Pièzas Españolas: Andaluza Manuel de Falla, arr. Gregg Nestor The Great Necks Guitar Trio | Adam Levin, Scott Borg, Matthew Rohde 4:02

Recorded June 6-10, 2021 at Futura Productions, Roslindale MA
Recording Session Producer Drew Henderson
Recording Session Engineer John Weston

All works were arranged for guitar trio by Gregg Nestor
Instruments by Stephan Connor, Dominique Field

Art by Oscar Estruga
www.oscarestruga.com

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Jacob Smith

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Content Manager Sara Warner

Artist Information

The Great Necks

The Great Necks Guitar Trio

Ensemble

The Great Necks Guitar Trio has enchanted audiences across the United States with its whimsical, interactive, and daring performances. Founded by guitarists Scott Borg, Adam Levin, and Matthew Rohde, the trio — through its original madcap arrangements — stretches at the conventions — and at times, the physical limits — of the guitar with what American Record Guide calls “some of the most inventive artistry you are likely to find in today’s guitar world.”

Learn More
Gregg Nestor

Gregg Nestor

Arranger

Internationally-acclaimed guitarist Gregg Nestor has built a strong following for his abilities as soloist, accompanist, and arranger. A finalist in the 1981 New York Concert Guild Competition held at Carnegie Hall, Nestor has recorded and broadcast in Holland, Belgium, Spain, and for the BBC in London. In his London debut, The Times critic commented on his being “uncommonly communicative, a real artist in timing and shading, in stylish fluency and tact besides wholehearted communication with his composers.”

Many works arranged by Nestor for solo and duo guitar or with various ensembles have been published. In 1986, Nestor was the recipient of Sonata for Guitar, Op. 42 by Hungarian concert and film composer Miklós Rózsa, published by Associated Music (G. Schirmer). It is recognized as one of the landmarks of 20th century literature for the guitar. For more information visit www.greggnestorguitar.com.

These arrangements and others available at www.clearnote.net, “Gregg Nestor Signature Series.”

Notes

Impressions-of-Spain_Notes-1

The Great Necks Guitar Trio

This recording focuses on five of the great pillars of late 19th and early 20th century Spanish (or, in Ravel’s case, Spanish influenced) composers. Even if all five composers are well-known to guitarists, the specific works here are not. As an arranger, I found it particularly exciting not to revisit old favorites but instead to expand the guitar trio repertoire with these underappreciated gems. This recording is novel in another important way. While the trio was recorded over several intensive days at Futura Productions in Roslindale, Massachusetts under the direction of engineer John Weston, it was produced – and ultimately edited and mastered – remotely by Drew Henderson and myself, in Toronto and Los Angeles, respectively. This wouldn’t have been possible without state of the art streaming technology.

Through and through, the collaboration – for all its complexities – was a thrilling one. I am thrilled to share it with you here.

— Gregg Nestor
January 25, 2022
Glendale, California

These trio guitar arrangements were commissioned, premiered, and recorded by The Great Necks Guitar Trio.

Isaac Albéniz’s (1860-1909) name immediately conjures up his piano masterpiece “Iberia” and various works that have met their success in fine transcriptions for guitar and that are a staple of the instrument’s repertoire. But sprinkled through his tremendously active career as a composer and piano virtuoso, ensemble musician, conductor, impresario, and piano teacher are his operas and operettas, written during his stay in London from 1890 until late 1893.

The music of The Magic Opal revolves around an opal ring that has the power to cause anyone touching it to fall in love with the person wearing it. Although the story takes place in Greece, the music does not stray far from the composer’s love of Andalucía, and displays Spanish rhythms and melodic influences.

This suite, composed of three instrumental pieces from the operetta, has been arranged for guitar trio by Gregg Nestor. Together, these movements mirror in microcosm the development of his unique voice and style in masterworks that were to come, and that tie him as a major musical icon in the Spanish Nationalist style.

“Let no one think it was by chance that he made his entrance into music by way of Spain… I recognize Spain in every part of Ravel – what he was and what he did. His art, still more decidedly, is the French tongue touched with a Spanish accent.”

– André Saures

Ravel’s setting of contemporary French writer Paul Morand’s Don Quichotte-inspired poetry came at the very end of his creative life, and only upon a commission from the Austrian filmmaker G.W. Pabst for a film he was making on Don Quichotte. Pabst was plainly not devoted to Ravel’s work. However, when Ravel was slow in producing the specified scores, Pabst readily accepted music from Jacques Ibert instead. As a result of this collaboration, Ravel’s set of three songs entitled Don Quichotte à Dulcinée ended up being his last completed work.

Ravel based each movement on a traditional Spanish dance: “Chanson romanesque” is a quajira, which alternates bars of 3/4 and 6/8. Although “Chanson épique” is hymnlike — introduced with a low spiritual chorale — it too is a dance: the 5/4 Basque zortzico. Its naturally languid rhythm is here extrapolated to a state of reverent suspension, as Don Quichotte invokes the medieval patrons Saint Michael and Saint George as witnesses to the purity of his love for Dulcinea.

Don Quichotte is human after all, and he boisterously comes back down to earth in the final movement, inevitably called “Chanson à boire.” Underlying this “Drinking Song” is the quick accented 3/4 of the jota.

This instrumental version by Gregg Nestor for guitar trio perfectly captures the misguided but sincere protagonist, a brave man risking ridicule and torment in his quest for love.

Composer Enrique Granados, along with Isaac Albéniz, brought modern Spanish music into the home of the avid music lover. Most of Granados’s works are for solo piano, and through them he created a unique style of writing for the — then — modern school of Spanish keyboard music. Many of his works have been successfully arranged for guitar and are among the all time audience favorites in the instrument’s literature.

This collection, arranged for guitar trio by Gregg Nestor, are works from the composer’s youth (circa 1890 – 1895) and strongly convey the nationalistic elements so pronounced in his elegant style. They have been organized as a suite of contrasting movements, but can successfully be played as stand alone pieces.

“My music is the expression of the feeling of a true Sevillian who did not know Seville until he left it… yet, it is necessary for the artist to move away to get to know his country, just as it is for the painter who takes some steps backwards to be able to take in the complete picture.”

– Joaquín Turina

Joaquín Turina’s successful synthesis of the early 20th century French School and Andalusian folklore, embodied in the classical genres of chamber music, was no small feat. As a Spanish composer seeking to express his national identity through chamber music, he had very few precedents to emulate. Falla and Albéniz advised Turina to embrace his heritage as an Andalusian musician. Albéniz is reported to have said: “you must base your art on Spanish popular songs, on Andalusian music, because you are from Seville.” In later years, Turina would recall this conversation saying: “Those words were decisive for me, [and] they are a piece of advice that I have tried to follow throughout my career.”

The result of this encounter with Albéniz and Falla was an outpouring of music that established Turina as one of the outstanding Spanish composers of the early 20th century. Nearly all of his works bore allusions to Spain, and more specifically to Andalusia.

“My principal idea was to express musically the soul and the atmosphere of each of the regions indicated by their respective titles.”

– Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) is considered the most distinguished Spanish composer of the early 20th century. In his music he achieved a fusion of poetry, asceticism, and ardor that represents the spirit of Spain at its purest.

Cuatro Pièzas Españolas is considered de Falla’s first major piano work, in which he arrived at a technical command and maturity in both compositional and pianistic practices. He had begun composing them in 1906 in Madrid and completed them in Paris. They are exemplary of his development from Romantic tonality to the modalities of Spanish folk music. Furthermore, he was to absorb the influence of Debussy’s Impressionistic style and move beyond it. Through rhythm, the melodic lines, and the characteristic ornaments, he evoked the soul of Spain.

The first of these, “Aragonesa,” displays the energetic character of a folk theme by applying the jota rhythm in the descending triplet figure which appears fairly often throughout the piece.

The themes of the “Cubana,” the second movement, are based on the guajira rhythm which combines 3/4 and 6/8 meters alternatively and simultaneously.

In commenting on the third movement, “Montañesa,” de Falla wrote “Its themes are a major alteration of two folk ones. I wrote this piece in Paris after returning from a stay in the north of Spain the previous winter. What an effect the atmosphere and landscape of that part of my country had on me! The church bells ringing in the distance, slow and sad songs, dances, and all this with a superb backdrop of imposing snow-topped mountains.”

The final piece, “Andalucia,” portrays a lively and virtuosic style which explores the many well-known characteristics of Andalusian music, such as flamenco dance, guitar figures, and cante-jondo.