By Brad Conroy
Composer Eduardo Morales-Caso is a rare artist of exceptional talent who for the past decade has been making a significant contribution to the classical guitar with many attractive works for solo guitar, flute and guitar, and voice and guitar among others. Morales-Caso also has an extensive catalog of compositions which include works for solo piano as well as orchestral and chamber music which has helped bring a great depth to his guitar compositions. There has been a growing demand for his music since his piece “El Jardin de Lindaraja” won first prize in the XIV Andres Segovia international composition competition for classical guitar in 2003. His music is contemplative, inventive, and stirs the imagination offering a new and exciting departure from the usual idiomatic repertoire. He is an expert at bringing out the dynamic and tonal possibilities of the guitar through his imaginative use of harmonics, colors and timbres, lush and extended harmonies, and exciting rhythms, proving he has a true gift for expressing his musical genius through the guitar.
Fuego De La Luna is a new CD featuring the music of Morales-Caso, and it also brings guitarist Adam Levin into the spotlight. Levin, a Fulbright Scholar, spent time in Spain researching modern Spanish repertoire and worked with the composer himself. This no doubt adds a dimension to the recording as Levin plays with expert precision and a deep understanding and connection with the music.
“El Jardin de Lindaraja” is a very attractive piece, a fantasy that pushes and pulls the guitar in many directions while bringing out almost every tonal capability and timbre the guitar has to offer. This piece is ternary in its structure and opens with a very imaginative introduction that delivers rich colors, creating a mysterious dream-like atmosphere. Then BANG, the next section of the piece begins and it is the exact opposite, filled with running scales, arpeggios, and intense rhythmically strummed chords which draw the listener to the edge of their seat. This is a very dynamic piece of alternating lyrical and rhythmic sections pushing the boundaries and the dynamic possibilities of the guitar. Levin’s passion for this music is quite clear as he performs with great precision, thoughtfulness, expression, and with what is no doubt a masterful technique.
“Homenajes” is a cycle of three pieces for voice and guitar which Morales-Caso describes as his “most meaningful lyrical-musical offering to the historical continuity of the transcendental legacy of Spanish composition.” “ Homenaje part I (Joaquin Rodrigo)” is a rhythmic song mingled with moments of unexpected baroque style counterpoint capturing the precise and rhythmic style Rodrigo is known for. “Homenaje part II (Frederic Mompou)” is a beautifully lyrical piece gently stirring up many familiar musical fragments and bits from Morales-Caso’s catalog. “Homenaje Part III (Manuel De Falla)” is the most intricate guitar part of the three song cycle and is very Spanish in nature. It has many impressive scale passages, aggressive strumming as well as a strong and passionate vocal part. Levin plays with amazing tone and clarity perfectly complementing soprano Lorna Windsor’s lyrical grace.
“El Jinete Azul” is a piece for classical guitar and string quartet and homage to the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, a forerunner of lyrical abstraction. This piece is fantasy-like in its form and alternates between periods of solo guitar and solo ensemble. This music is written with great artistic expression and paints an obscure yet poetic landscape bringing a depth to the guitar world not often heard. It no doubt is a great addition to the lacking repertoire for original chamber music featuring guitar. Levin and the Assai Quartet deliver an amazing performance creating an intriguing and beautiful atmosphere.
Fuego De La Luna is the new CD featuring music of composer Eduardo Morales-Caso. A step above many of his contemporaries, his attractive pieces have a delicacy, fire, and display a dreamy and sonorous character of great inventiveness which make this some of the finest music being composed for the instrument. Guitarist Adam Levin delivers a brilliant performance throughout and will no doubt become the authority on what is likely to be a popular addition to many concerts, recitals, and recordings.
Fuego De La Luna Track List:
1. Fuego de la luna (2003)
2. Diabolical Rumours (2011)
3-5. Homenajes (2004)
6. El jardín de Lindaraja (1999)
7. Samskara (2010)
8. Introducción y Tocatta (2002)
9-12. Il Sogno delle Streghe (2002)
13. Volavérunt (2009)
14. O Pássaro Triste do Mar (2003)
15. El jinete azul (2007)