Rhapsody for two guitars
Alexandra Christodimou and Yannis
Works by Gershwin, Rodrigo, Giorginakis, Piazzolla and Bach
This CD's title is due to Gershwin's "Rhapsody
in Blue", a work that I have never heard before either for
one or two guitars. The two Greek guitarists made the transcription
themselves and it really works! Speaking of a work that I already
know in it's original form (on this occasion it is orchestra), I
always try to imagine how this would sound on the guitar before
listening to it. To be honest, concerning "Rhapsody in Blue"
I was very skeptical. Still, the transcription played on the CD
sounds thorough and complete. There is barely the impression of
forced or unrestrained sound. The two musicians are very much involved
and display a cheerful spirit in their work,which is obvious when
listening to them.
Rodrigo's "Tonadilla" and Piazzolla's "Tango Suite",
both included in this CD, are ,of course, common ground for guitar
duos. They have very often been heard so comparison is hard to be
avoided. The first interpreters are usually the ones who draw the
"Art" and the "way" several works should be
performed. For example, Julian Bream in Britten's "Nocturnal"
and the Assads in Piazzolla's "Tango Suite".
Now, Alexandra Christodimou and Yannis Petridis do not perform "Tango
Suite" like the Assads. They do not even try, and they are
doing very well indeed. It is not that the CD's version does not
remind us at all of the Brazilian brother's version. It is not that
it could not have been used as an example. No, this version is colored
in such a personal way that any experienced listener would instantly
perceive every attempt of imitation. The two Greeks approach to
Piazzolla's work is a little more distant and they seem to have
less fun in performing it.
The distance observed in Piazzolla vanishes in the last piece, Bach's
"Italian Concerto". Here, old "cliches" are
filled with fresh breath, in this way impulsively flirting with
tone, isn't that delightful? In any skepticism regarding style and
expression, the guitar is justified. At this point, it must be said
that interesting aspects related to style are worth consideration.
Christodimou and Petridis can make it! This is not to wonder, since
the "legendary" guitar duo Evangelos and Liza and Gordon
Crosskey in England have been their teachers.