1. Brouwer, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Françaix, Takemitsu: Aigua / Cordas et Bentu - ArkivMusic

Aigua / Cordas et Bentu Duo

Regular price $18.99
Added to Cart! View cart or continue shopping.

The ensemble writes of their new release: “Undoubtedly our interest and passion for the works composed throughout the 20th Century have informed the choice of repertoire proposed in this record – the result of a long period of study and artistic collaboration. This repertoire has been part of our concert programs for many years and represents four major milestones of the chamber music repertoire for the flute and guitar. Each work proposes a different compositional style – peculiar musical grammars and language with a varied and contrasting artistic vision delivered by each composer. The album opens and closes with water, acqua, (in Algherese dialect, aigua) which has for many centuries been a source of artistic inspiration, subject of myth and for some civilizations, even religious worship.”


This new release by Stradivarius records features the impeccable artistry of international award-winning guitar and flute duo Cordas et Bentu. Flutist Francesca Apeddu and Maria Luciani have been refining their sound together since they first played as an ensemble in 2013. They released another album together, Portrait of Sardinia earlier in 2021 from Brilliant Classics. That recording was dedicated to new music for guitar, not flute and guitar duo. Out of the four discs in the set there are only two pieces that include flute. Aigua is their true first release dedicated to the addicting sound of flute and guitar duo.

Aigua is dedicated to the theme of water, connection to the natural environment, and the duo’s attachment to their beloved homeland, Sardinia. There are four multi-movement works included that take the listener on a relaxing journey. Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea opens the album in a passionate and picturesque performance. Since it is Takemitsu’s only duo for flute and guitar there is no shortage of available recordings. Apeddu encapsulates elements of the shakuhachi and modern flute playing perfectly. They also both have multiple sections where parts sound spontaneously improvised. This piece acts as an attention getter for the album. My urge to keep listening increased more and more as the work progressed.

The second work on the album is another well-known duo. The Sonata for Flute and Guitar by Françaix is an exercise in maintaining flawless light technique and blending. This return to a tonal center gives the listener’s ear a chance to settle and offers a stark contrast to the previous piece. The liner notes characterize the sonata as being filled with shrewd humor and an effervescent vivacity. I honestly think this describes most of Françaix pieces. Using the guitar as an accompaniment instrument, instead of piano, offers an entirely different level of balance and light articulation. Apeddu and Luciani seamlessly blend with the flute melody melting into the strumming guitar.

Cordas et Bentu Duo didn’t know how much they had to work to please me during my first listening of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Sonatina. To be perfectly honest, I have never liked Tedesco’s Clarinet Sonata with piano. I remember learning it when I was younger and felt like it was torture. Apparently the not-so-secret ingredient to this new revelation is the guitar. Sonatina for Flute and Piano has me rethinking everything I ever thought I knew about Tedesco. I must explore more of Tedesco’s guitar works. The world needs more beautiful and introspective music like this, and the other works included on the album.

The last piece on the album returns the listener back to the theme of water in Brouwer’s Mítologia de las aguas (Mythologies of the Waters). The water is deep, dark, and mysterious. Both the flute and guitar are the water, the wave, and the atmosphere at the same time. Similarly to Takemitsu’s duo for flute and guitar, this is also Brouwer’s only duo for flute and guitar.

The liner notes state that the recordings were made at the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Casalborgone and that you can sometimes hear bats. Apparently there was a colony living in the organ pipes, which had become a nuisance. I became unexpectedly interested and devoted to trying to hear the bat sounds on the album. There are a couple of moments in this piece that I believe I heard the rustling of wings. The only negative thing I can say about this album is that it isn’t long enough! This is likely the first of many albums to come for Cordas et Bentu.

-- Fanfare (Natalie Szabo)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 07, 2022

  • Catalog Number: STR37187

  • UPC: 8011570371874

  • Label: Stradivarius

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century, Contemporary

  • Composer: Tōru Takemitsu, Jean Françaix, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Leo Brouwer

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Cordas et Bentu Duo


  1. Umi e (Toward the Sea)

    Composer: Toru Takemitsu

    Ensemble: Cordas et Bentu Duo

  2. Sonata for Flute and Guitar

    Composer: Jean Françaix

    Ensemble: Cordas et Bentu Duo

  3. Sonatina for Flute and Guitar, Op. 205

    Composer: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

    Ensemble: Cordas et Bentu Duo

  4. Sonata for Flute and Guitar, "Mitología de las Aguas"

    Composer: Leo Brouwer

    Ensemble: Cordas et Bentu Duo