Tedesco – Composer of April

Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco (1895- 1968) is April’s Composer of the Month. He was an Italian composer and pianist. He was one of the greatest classical guitar composers of the 20th Century. He was a prolific composer, having written almost a hundred compositions for classical guitar. Moreover, Tedesco has composed film music. More than two hundred Hollywood films have used his pieces.

A lot of Tedesco’s works were inspired by great literature. Miguel de Cervantes, Federico Garcia Lorca, Virgil, William Wordsworth, Juan Ramon Gimenez  and most notably William Schakespeare have offered him composing themes. The Bible and the Jewish Liturgy were also sources of inspiration. The 24 Caprichos de Goya were inspired by the paintings of the Spanish romantic painter Francisco Goya.  

Having been of jewish descendance, he was forced by the circustances to seek refuge in America. With the help of Arturo Toscanini and Jascha Heifetz, Castelnuovo-Tedesco moved in 1939 to the US.

In 1965 he wrote the Sonatina Op.205 for flute and guitar, at the request of Wener Tripp (the first flute of the Vienna Philharmoniker) and the renowned guitarist Konrad Ragossnig.

One can definitely recognized the style of Castenuovo – Tedesco in the music. The highly articulated guitar part, precisely annotated in the score, the harmonies, the beautiful melodies made the piece so beloved by the audience and the performers. The three movements create a marvelous combination of grace, melancholy and virtuosity.

The recording you are about to listen to has a „historical” importance to us. It was the first professional recording of Duo con Spirito at Conservatorium Maastricht in The Netherlands.