1. Towner: Music for Solo Guitar / Sebastiani

Towner: Music for Solo Guitar / Sebastiani

Regular price $12.99
Added to Cart! View cart or continue shopping.
A musical name perhaps most closely associated in many minds with the band Oregon which he co-founded, Ralph Towner (b.1940) the classical composer is particularly...

A musical name perhaps most closely associated in many minds with the band Oregon which he co-founded, Ralph Towner (b.1940) the classical composer is particularly beloved of guitarists and is a prolific writer for the instrument. Having studied composition at Oregon University, Towner spent four years in Vienna studying classical guitar with the Czech teacher Karl Scheit. Having previously favoured the piano as a medium for his improvisational talent, Towner swung towards the classical and 12-string guitars. His very individual approach to the guitar and its tone-colour potential has been described as pianistic or even orchestral, with his renown as a performer on the guitar as high among classical musicians as in any other musical sphere. His solo recitals on the instrument have been primarily focused on his own numerous compositions, of which he has recorded over two hundred. This record follows the short guitar solos – many of them linked to the group Oregon such as Hermia’s Galliard from the band’s 1998 incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and When The Fire Burns Low originally for piano and recorded with Oregon in 1991 – with the Maddalena Variations (2011) a prelude and four variations. This larger-scale work exemplifies Towner’s return to the more traditional classical forms in which he was originally trained in the 60s.

REVIEW:

Italian guitarist Adriano Sebastiani captures the essence of this eclectic figure in the guitar. With several major-label recordings already to his credit coupled with his love for Towner’s music, Sebastiani is in the perfect artistic place to bring it to us.

Towner’s compositions are identifiable by style, incorporating lovely chord progressions, intelligent bass lines, and carefully crafted melodies mixed with spritely improvisational sections emanating from a jazz-influenced composer. The lovely melody in Towner’s `Green and Golden’ is sensitively played, but Sebastiani’s gentle handling of it needs a likewise attenuated bass to achieve a proper balance. The fortissimo closing chord seems out of place with what the rest of the piece was trying to express. `Another Life’ includes a favorite compositional technique of Towner’s, the chordal motive, a short, rhythmically interesting “lick” that appears often as a unifying element. The program concludes with the 5-movement Maddalena Variations based on a theater piece written by Towner’s wife about the biblical Mary Magdalene. This is composed in a more classical guitar style, reflecting Towner’s training as a composition major at Oregon University and later studying classical guitar with Austrian professor Karl Scheit.

Overall the sound quality is heavily balanced toward the bass, even when heard on different systems. This is possibly augmented by reverb settings, which are quite “wet”. I can’t imagine Sebastiani sounding like this in concert. Liner notes are adequately informative, something much appreciated when bringing new music to us.

-- American Record Guide (Jim McCutcheon)



Product Description:


  • Release Date: July 23, 2021


  • UPC: 5028421958231


  • Catalog Number: BRI95823


  • Label: Brilliant Classics


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Ralph Towner


  • Performer: Adriano Sebastiani



Works:


  1. Always by Your Side

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  2. Anniversary Song

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  3. Turning of the Leaves

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  4. The Reluctant Bride

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  5. Green And Golden

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  6. Another Life

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  7. The Pendant

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  8. Point of View

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  9. Hermia's Galliard

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  10. When the Fire Burns Low

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)


  11. Maddalena Variations

    Composer: Ralph Towner

    Performer: Adriano Sebastiani (Guitar)