Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves, a faculty member of Marshall University’s School of Music, will perform a solo guitar recital at 7.30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Jomie Jazz Forum on Marshall’s Huntington campus.
The recital will open with a selection of pieces from Appunti di viaggio (“Travel Diaries”) by Italian composer Giorgio Signorile, which will be followed by three pieces by Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios, from his Waltzes Op. 8.
Estrela da Manhã (“Morning Star”), written by Brazilian composer Marco Pereira, who is considered a leading figure in the Brazilian guitar scenario due to his creativity as a composer and his virtuosity as a performer, will come next..
Suite Nordestina (“Northeastern Suite”), next on the program, was written by Erisvaldo Borge in 2016 and dedicated to Alves. It has three movements, each of which carries one of Alves’ daughters name in its title: “Baião de Cecília,” ”Canção de Elena” and “Frevo de Clarissa.” Alves says he looks forward to sharing his interpretive reading of this piece that, for obvious reasons, has a strong personal meaning to him.
To finish the program, Alves will perform “Sonata” by Italian composer Giorgio Tortora, who is the chair of classic guitar studies at Instituto di Musica in Gorizia, a town in northeastern Italy that borders Slovenia.
The program is free and open to the public. For further information on the School of Music, call 304-696-3117.
Photo credit: Sandee Lloyd.
Details on the program:
Appunti di viaggio (“Travel Diaries”) by Italian composer Giorgio Signorile. E ancora non mi pesa il ricordo speaks of memory, feelings, and nostalgia, when he was thinking of what had been so far and what was yet to happen in his life. It was written on a summer night, on a street bench in Saluzzo, an ancient town near Turin, where he once lived. Summer souvenir was the first piece Signorile composed: “I was looking for an arpeggio piece for a student and not finding it, I tried to write some musical phrases … and since then I have not stopped!” Preludio d’autunno is an intimate and delicate account of the color changes in the city of Cuneo, where Signorile resides, during the fall season. The uplifting mood of Lasciati avvolgere is tied to the idea of “letting oneself be embraced by the music.” According to Alves, the pieces can be heard as a warm invitation for dwelling on meaningful memories, or simply experienced as an opportunity to enjoy the moment, relax and let the imagination decide where it wants to go, led by the sounds of each entry of the diary (…perhaps both!).
Three pieces by Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios, from his Waltzes, Op. 8. The opuses supposedly consisted of six waltzes, but only four are listed, and only two actually display the opus number in the titles (Vals Op. 8, no. 3 and Vals Op. 8, no. 4). In addition, each waltz has been published as a separate piece at different times. For this performance, Alves grouped three of them in a “mini-suite” with two G major waltzes separated by another one in D minor. The first is Junto a tu corazón (“Close to Your Heart”) which according to guitarist Antigoni Goni is “a mosaic of classical and popular elements, a piece in the form of a valse Boston, known for its sophisticated rhythm and contrasting slow minor key section.” Recorded by Barrios in 1928, it was only published in 1977 (Bewin Mills, Melville, New York), the same year in which guitarist John Williams released a recording of several works by Barrios. The major key is only featured during the third section of Valse Op. 8, no. 3, and it is enhanced by a vigorous melody and an increase in tempo. Last in this “suite,” Vals Op. 8 no. 4 was in fact the first one to be published (Ricordi Americana, Buenos Aires, 1952). It is also known as Vals Brillante (“Brilliant Waltz”) and it is among Barrios’ most popular pieces, thanks to the use of the campanella (Italian for “little bell”), a technique that favors playing with multiple strings crossing over an open string pedal on the guitar.
Brazilian composer Marco Pereira is a leading figure in the Brazilian guitar scenario due to his creativity as a composer and his virtuosity as a performer. His style combines classical guitar tradition, Brazilian folk and popular music, and jazz improvisation.His style combines classical guitar tradition, Brazilian folk and popular music, and jazz improvisation. Estrela da Manhã (“Morning Star”) was inspired by the planet Venus (known in Brazil as “the Dalva Star”) spotted in the sky of Brasília, the Brazilian capital. It has a quasi-improvised mood and is marked by a distinct and elegant melody enriched by light syncopation and chord parallelism. Micuim is part of the four-piece work O Chôro de Juliana (“Juliana’s Chôro”). The humorous genesis of the piece certainly reinforces the relaxed element in Pereira’s creative mindset. Apparently, when Pereira’s daughter Juliana was a baby, she had to be taken on long car rides late in the evening before she would stop crying and sleep. On one rare afternoon when Juliana took a longer nap, he wrote this piece in the style of chôro, a word which, in Portuguese, means “cry” (it took him a bit longer than an hour… well, perhaps it wasn’t that long of a nap!). The piece was first recorded in Violão Popular Brasileiro Contemporâneo (“Contemporary Brazilian Popular Guitar”), Pereira’s first album released in 1984.
The other Brazilian composer in the program is Erisvaldo Borges. His Suite Nordestina (“Northeastern Suite”) was written in 2016 and dedicated to Júlio Ribeiro Alves. It has three movements, each of which carries one of Alves’ daughters name in its title. In Baião de Cecília, the dancing rhythm of the “baião” is enhanced by passages that explore percussive effects on the guitar and by the use of the Lydian and Mixolydian modes, both commonly featured in the music from the Brazilian Northeastern states. Canção de Elena depicts the solitude of a “sertanejo” (“Brazilian cowboy”) leading the cattle throughout the arid landscape of the northeastern region of Brazil known as “sertão.” Syncopation and rhythmic energy are combined in Frevo de Clarissa, the concluding movement of the suite. The “frevo” is a highly popular dance during the carnival season, particularly in the street parades of Brazilian Northeastern centers such as Teresina, Olinda, and Salvador. Alves looks forward to sharing his personal interpretive reading of this piece that, for obvious reasons, has a strong personal meaning to him.
To finish the program, Alves will perform Sonata by Italian composer Giorgio Tortora, who is the Chair of Classic Guitar Studies at Instituto di Musica in Gorizia, a town in northeastern Italy that borders Slovenia. It was recorded by guitarist Marko Feri and published by the Les Productions d’OZ. The first movement, Lions of Delphi, has an overall enigmatic character that results from constant meter shifts and the holding of the dissonances throughout its course. Theme is a three-part form piece that begins with slow repeated citations of a motive (which also repeats its notes) as a unifying element. A new thematic idea is presented in the central section, but it is also insistently repeated, preventing the sections from being too contrasting with each other, as if Tortora conceived the thematic ideas in each section as “somewhat similar trees of a same little oasis.” In this sense, the second movement provides an opportunity for the listener to regain strength before continuing the journey. Signs is marked by the persistent occurrence of the opening motive (in its entirety and fractioned), the reutilization of motives from the previous movements (although this time played aggressively), the return of the unexpected meter changes, and the inclusion of percussive techniques and strummed passages. All these elements in conjunction define the troubled atmosphere of the last movement and provide a grand finale to the piece.