For this recording 20-bit technology was used for "high definition sound", SBM
Producers : Dr. Steven Paul(Harvey); Steven Epstein (Gray).
Recording Engineer: Mike Ross-Trevor(Harvey); Bud Graham (Gray);
Second Engineer : Andy Strange(Harvey); Technician steve Orchard(Harvey);
Post Production Engineer: Rob Rapley (Gray); Engineer: Richard King
Recorded April 12-13, 1995, at Air Recordings Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, Hampstead, England (Harvey);
and May 5&8, 1989, at Abbey Road Studios, London, England (Gray).
Cover Design: Sara Rotman
Cover Photos: David Montgomery
Publisher: Fireworks Music Ltd. (Harvey)
John Williams' guitar by Greg Smallman.NOTE FROM Richard HARVEY
Concerto Antico is a suite of tunes based on old dance and song forms from differents parts of Europe. I use the "concerto", though, in its original sense to mean a concerted, collaborative effort, with the guitar often involved in interplay with or accompanying a variety of other instruments. The concerto was written to celebrate the ability of my good friend John Williams in a way that would compliment and contrast with the more usual staples of the guitar repertoire. My other aim was to write a piece that would stretch John's technique by beeing impossible to play, yet interesting enough to be a worth-while challenge. His imperious response to this challenge, particularly in the fifth movement, makes me thrill with delight each time I hear it.
Alborada: The name Alborada implies a morning song, and the music begins by evoking the atmosphere as dawn breaks over fields and houses. As the day and the music gather pace, working up towards the bustle and energy of a small-town market day, the woodwind theme that emerges is redolent of the ancient meaning of Alborada, a rhytmic traditional folk piece for oboe and drums.
Contredanse: This rustic, full-blooded dance should be in 4/4 but can't always make up its mind. There may be martial overtones, but these off-duty dancers would definitely be irregular militias rather than a regiment of the line.
Cantilena: This is a lyrical, dreamlike sequence, like a ballet acted ou behind a veil of gauze. The flowing, singing qualities of the solo woodwinds and strings are what give this longer movement the character of a Cantilena.
Forlana: This slow dance features the guitar with a capo on the fifth fret, to produce a smaller sound, more like a lute. Technically, the piece is not quite a Forlana, which ought to be a Nothern Italian dance in 6/8 time. This oscillates between 7/8 and 4/4 and was written in Surrey. But the name smehow suits the piece, so it has stuck.
Lavolta: The original Lavolta was an innocent but startlingly indelicate Tudos dance, after the Italian model, in which the female partner was levitated in a highly unusual manner. I hope the same spirit of unshockable vitality comes through here, especially in the con fuoco finale, which spans the complete range of the guitar fretboard, from bottom E to top B, in a flurry of explosive activity in the last four bars. Although these titles were for inpsiration at early stage of the composition process, they are interpreted very loosely indeed. I draw freely and unrepentantly on any style that is appropriate, including elements from archaic, folk and etnic sources, particularly when associated with the guitar or other fretted instruments. I am fascinated by the guitar's place in many different folk and popular traditions and by its ability to give joy at many different levels. If the Concerto Antico can draw on those traditions to give pleasure in unexpected ways, it will be because the guitar is simply the most accessible and adaptable of instruments.
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