Benvenuti in Elegia Classics
apertura_CD 23092-cover_ Alexandrowicz

Guitar Works of Robert W. Butts

Alexandrowicz - copertina
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apertura_CD 23092-cover_ Alexandrowicz
Elecla 23092
Format: 1 CD
Sales price 14,50 €
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Stanley Alexandrowicz guitar


Robert W. Butts


Cortland, NY, USA

About this album

The Early Morning Suite was my first composition for classical guitar. As I was an active musicologist with an interest in Baroque music, I took my inspiration from the music of Bach, Weiss, and others. This is clearest in the two middle movements, based on Baroque dances – the Bourree and Minuet. The Bourree is clearly modeled on one by Bach, but I tried to make the music be Baroque in both texture and structure, yet in many places more contemporary in sound. The Minuet is more like a ballad than a dance, conveying a feeling of sensual beauty within the meter and overall form of the old dance. The Prelude is similarly inspired by the Bach preludes, but with guitarlike rhythms and voicing from later Romantic-era composers. I have tried to add an energy and driving forward throughout. The Finale is related to the Prelude in texture and energetic forward thrust. Here, I also used as models later guitar composers whose music I have enjoyed playing. The suite was premiered by Stanley Alexandrowicz during the BONJ Summer Music Festival on 9 August 2015 at Grace Church, Madison, New Jersey, USA. Canti di Venezia consists of three movements inspired by my visits to Venice. The first is a song-like movement in three parts representing a day wandering around the city. The first part is a pretty, enjoyable morning. Suddenly, a heavy storm arises with rains and winds causing the canal waters to rise creating the effect known as Acqua alta. But the storm passes and we enjoy a pleasant evening. The second movement is a theme and variations inspired by typical rhythms of the romantic Gondoliers’ songs. The finale is marked Masquerade. Rather than being a representation of any particular event or party, I tried to capture the sense of excitement and sensuality. The music is exuberant and filled with guitar tremolos and arpeggios. The middle section recalls the challenges of a possible high-water interruption. The party, however, is always part of Venice as one can see from the many shops selling colorful masks. Dedicated to Stanley, the Canti di Venezia was premiered by him on 12 November 2021 at the 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center, Ewing, New Jersey. Tombeau in Memoriam Václav Kučera was commissioned by Stanley, to whom it is dedicated. I composed it in honor of Václav Kučera, the great Czech composer, having heard Stanley perform Kučera’s Concerto Imaginativo with my orchestra a few years earlier. I studied Kučera’s score and, without using any of the music, took inspiration from the style of the work. It is rhapsodic with several contrasting passages and segments coming together thematically to create a whole. The music breathes as it moves freely from segment to segment, sometimes with great energy and sometimes pausing for reflection. Musical motives develop by changing the voicings of arpeggios and melodies, moving from abstract idea to a new yet related idea. As in several of my works for guitar, I tried to create harmonies derived from the six strings – E-A-D-G-B-E transposed and altered chromatically so that a chord at one point might be those six notes, but in another spot might have a G# or a Bb and may be heard as an arpeggio or strummed. The Tombeau was premiered by Stanley on 29 March 2018 at the Haebler Memorial Chapel of Goucher College in Baltimore Impresiones inspiradas por las pinturas de Luis Martinez Piar is a set of four movements connected by a short motivic theme, as if visiting an artist’s gallery exhibit. It is similar to Mus￾sorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the use of the connecting motif. However, the four movements are meant to be impressions inspired by the group of paintings. They do not depict or illustrate specific paintings. They are more about moods and feelings developed by conversations with Luis and my enjoyment of his work as well as general impressions viewing his collective works. Some passages are marked “percussive” and are meant to be played with gentle rhythmic taps on the body of the guitar. In many places, I have notated chords. These are meant to be fingered while tapping, thereby producing gentle vibra￾tions of the strings. The composition is in four distinct movements, framed by themes from the opening movement that return and unite the work. There should be very minimal pauses between move￾ments; the impression should be of moving between an exhibit or perhaps view￾ing the painting in memory. Each movement is based upon a varied habanera rhythm. The piece is dedicated to Luis Martinez Piar and Stanley Alexandrowicz, and was premiered by Stanley on 8 December, 2019 at The Madison Community Arts Center, New Jersey – an event organised in collaboration with LatinX ConneXiones.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: August 2021
Booklet 12 pages full colour (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography



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