West Sussex Guitar Club

Charity No. 1124762

Patrons: Gary Ryan & Fabio Zanon


Recital by the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet

Saturday, 30th June, 2007 7:30PM

Regis Recital Hall, 46 Sudley Road, Bognor Regis

The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet is an exciting ensemble exploring the diversity of music for four guitars. Since their formation in 1999 the AGQ have performed extensively in major festivals including Grassington, Ryedale and Newbury Spring Festivals and in venues including St. David's Hall, Cardiff, Bolivar Hall, London and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. {...}

They have appeared as soloists with a number of regional orchestras in Rodrigo's Concierto Andaluz for four guitars. Most recently, they gave a recital at the Euripedes Amphitheatre, Athens in the presence of the British Ambassador for Greece and appeared at the Last Night of the Proms in Heaton Park, Manchester.

Admission: £15, (£10 members), full-time students half price, under 18 free

To reserve tickets, click here or ring 01243 696762.


Overture - L'Italiana in Algeri G. Rossini (Arr. AGQ) 1792 - 1868
Aria - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 Brincadeira
From String Quartet No. 1
H. Villa Lobos (Arr. AGQ) 1887 - 1959
Danças Nativas: (UK Premiere)
Twisted Samba
Reflective Canção
Mad Baião
C. Assad 1978 -

A Furiosa P. Bellinati 1950 -


UarekenaS. Assad 1952 -

Da Natureza
Chôro Legal
Marchinha do Ceù
O Spirito do João
R. Dyens 1955 -
The Swan LK 243 C. McKay (Arr. AGQ) 1976 -
Tarantella Inti-Illimani (Arr. AGQ)


`...the ability to unite as one in presenting phrases makes this quartet a special phenomenon.'

Programme Notes:

Overture - L'Italiana in Algeri - G. Rossini (Arr. AGQ)
This opening for Rossini's popular comic opera was transcribed from the orchestral score being faithful to the original key of C. It begins with a very theatrical slow introduction incorporating pizzicato effects with a very elegant melody floating above. This then gives way to a much more energetic and exciting Allegro with rapid scales and dotted rhythmic motifs. An obligatory Rossini crescendo draws this overture to a close with a flourish.

Aria - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Brincadeira - From String Quartet No. 1 - H. Villa Lobos (Arr. AGQ) Originally written for soprano voice and an orchestra of eight cellos, the Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras no.5 is one of Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos' best loved works. The heart-rending opening melody gives way to a recitative-style middle section, before a return to the opening theme. In contrast to the romanticism of the Aria, Brincadeira, simply meaning `a joke', is the quirky 2nd movement of his string quartet no.1. In the original, the composer requests a number of unorthodox techniques from the string players, which we try to recreate in our version for four guitars.

Danças Nativas - C. Assad
This is a brand new commission for the AGQ. The Composer writes: "We decided on a three movement piece that would have Brazilian influences and some particular techniques such as heavy strumming and light harmonics which are all weaved into the piece. The first movement Twisted Samba is loosely based on samba rhythms, while the second, Reflective Canção comes from the song and waltz tradition found in many common popular Brazilian tunes from the 40s and 50s, while embodied in a more modern harmonic language. Finally, Mad Baião is based on a rhythm from the North-western part of Brazil. The actual baiao portion is featured as a centre piece. The introduction and end of this movement are a combination of wild mixed meters which is not usually found in Brazilian music. The contrasting idea came from the notion that I was given by the AGQ, a wonderful "blank canvas" to work with right before my eyes."

A Furiosa - P. Bellinati
A Furiosa is an example of Bellinati's ability to revive traditional forms of Brazilian music and bring them firmly up to date. Written in the `Maxixe' style, which was popular in the early part of the twentieth century, A Furiosa is a tribute to the street bands of Brazil. These bands are nicknamed `La Furiosas' - `The furious ones'- on account of their virtuosic ability. The furious ones that Bellinati perhaps had in mind are the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, to whom the piece is dedicated.

Uarekena - S. Assad
The Brazilian guitarist and composer Sérgio Assad is one half of the legendary Assad Brothers guitar duo, and in addition to his performing career he has composed many works for various combinations including guitar. This, his only work for guitar quartet, is named after an indigenous tribe of the Amazon. The piece passes through many different moods finishing with a very energetic finale where the guitars double as percussion instruments.

Brésils - R. Dyens
The composer writes: "Da Natureza... The noises and sounds of nature that can be heard deep in the heart of the Amazonian forest or along the river Amazon itself.. Chôro Legal... In Portuguese, the word "Legal", far from being restricted to aspects of the law, actually implies to anything that is pleasant or enjoyable - a person, or an aperitif - and could even be used to describe a Chôro. A more modern translation would be "cool". Marchinha do Ceù literally means Celestial March. Here it was simply the association of words that fascinated me, their phonetics and the dream world they conjured up. It should also be noted that the march rhythm is the very essence of the carnival, especially the Carnival de Rio. Modinhazùl is a combination of modinha; the Rio or carioca sentimental melody, and the Portuguese word for blue; azul. O Spiroto do João literally refers to the spitit of João Gilberto, the brilliant co-inventor of the Bossa Nova, whose spirit is almost visibly hovering above this fifth movement. Xaxaré is once again a play on words, but rather more tortuous than the other one. The Xaxádo (pronounced "Chachádo" with the stress on the second syllable) is a dance from the Brazilian "nordeste" and therefore has its origins in Africa. As the finale of this ensemble music is a Xaxádo in the purest tradition, I thought it might be amusing to call it "Xaxaré" (pronounced "Chacharé" witht the stress on the third syllable), it's tonality being basically D major (or "ré" in French, as opposed to the "do" of Xaxádo, meaning C major). It's as simple as that!

The Swan LK 243- C. McKay (Arr. AGQ)
The folk harpist Catriona McKay was a colleague of the quartets when we were studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. After initially training as a classical harpist, she is now well established on the folk scene with her own group of musicians. The Swan was inspired by a sailing trip on a renovated fishing boat of the same name during the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race in 1999. After hearing the work on Catriona's self titled debut CD, she allowed us to transcribe the work for the quartet.

Tarantella - Inti-Illimani (Arr. AGQ)
Tarantella, by the Chilean folk group Inti-Illimani is an elaboration of a traditional Italian dance, usually played at weddings. In their performances, Inti-Illimani use a variety of instruments related to the guitar family together with the instrument most synonymous with Chilean Music - pan-pipes. This is our own version in which we also try and incorporate the sounds of the many different instruments, including the pan-pipes!

Programme notes by the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet