Duo Claroscuro

Originals: Contemporary Music For Harp And Guitar

Both the harp and the guitar are plucked-string instruments. Their timbres are similar but also subtly different. Prior to the twentieth century, only a handful of musicians had the idea of combining them in chamber music, but the pieces they played were mainly transcriptions after other ensembles. In the 1980s, however, two genius players such as Nicanor Zabaleta (harp) and Narciso Yepes (guitar) began a legendary cooperation which also resulted in several new works for this ensemble. In their wake, the Italian duo ClaroScuro started an exploration of this repertoire and commissioned new works in turn. A first selection of this repertoire is recorded here, and consists of new works (some recorded in world premiere) by Erik Marchelie, Marco Pereira, Thierry Tisserand, Anthony Sidney, Paul Lewis, and Maximo Diego Pujol. In virtually all of these pieces, composers and performers alike play with two complementary aspects of the guitar and harp duo: on the one hand, they attempt to create a hybrid instrument, by mixing the two timbres so as to efface their differences; on the other, they capitalize on those same differences, by employing the harps full harmonic potential and the guitars most pointed sounds. The result is a fascinating aural exploration, through pieces whose captivating melodies and tones are likely to enthrall all listeners.

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