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Asencio: Complete Guitar Music

By Vicente Asencio

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Composed by Vicente Asencio. Classical, Guitar. Classical. CD. Brilliant Classics #BRI95806. Published by Brilliant Classics (NX.BRI95806).

Item Number: NX.BRI95806

As a teacher of piano, theory and composition at the conservatoire in Valencia, Vicente Asencio (1908-1979) played an instrumental part in the success of Narciso Yepes and countless other influential Spanish musicians in the middle of the 20th century. His role as a teacher has unfairly overshadowed his own creative output, which now justly takes the spotlight in the talented hands of the Italian guitarist Alberto Mesirca. Asencio's output for guitar has previously been investigated on record, including by the young Elise Neumann on Brilliant Classics (BC9287) but this is the first-ever album dedicated to his guitar music. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his established reputation as a teacher, it reveals a composer of considerable craft and fluency, entirely at home in his adopted medium. Valencian born and bred, Asencio composed a Suite of Homages that became a calling-card for Yepes and other Spanish guitarists looking to play music of their own era that had something distinctive to say about modern Spain to an international audience. In turn, the homages pay tribute to Scarlatti, de Falla and Lorca, and between them they sum up the ingredients of Asencio's style: the ruminative grace of the Sonatina, the evocative melancholy of the Elegia, and the fiery sensuality of the Tango. Dating from 1965, Collectici intim was a second commission from Yepes, a character suite of portraits in the manner of the personalities so wittily drawn by Couperin in his keyboard pieces. Suite mistica derives from a piece commissioned by Spanish radio to mark Holy Week in 1971. Andres Segovia was taken with the work, Dipso ('I thirst' - one of the Seven Last Words) that he asked Asencio for two companion pieces, which were written on the subject of the Agony in the Garden and then the rushing wind of Pentecost. Finally, from 1971, there is Asencio's masterpiece for the guitar, the Suite Valenciana in which he celebrates his own cultural heritage.

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