BlogText from S. Sean Six
About Water Album
This collection of music is a confluence of my guitar inspirations- from my first hearing of the great guitarists of our time performing masterpieces of the repertoire to the lesson room with my instructors and students. These pieces influenced me to enter the world of the Classical Guitar and to continue to explore and delve into a realm from which I have never looked back. The selections are Fantasias, Ground Songs, Preludes, Folk Melodies and an Original Composition. Most are pieces of my past;
reworked and relived again.
Alonso Mudarra (c.1510–1580)
Mudarra wrote numerous pieces for the vihuela and the four-course guitar, a relatively new instrument, and are all contained in the collection Tres libros de musica en cifras para vihuela, which were published on December 7, 1546 in Seville in the workshops of printer Juan de Leon. These three books contain the first music ever published for the four-course guitar. It contains over 70 compositions for six-course vihuela, four-course guitar and voice and vihuela; the instrumental pieces include 27 fantasias and other dances for vihuela. The songs are in Latin, Spanish and Italian, and include romances, canciones, villancicos, and sonnets. An innovation he used was separate signs for different tempos: slow, medium, and fast. Fantasia X is a favorite among guitarists.
Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1686-1750)
Silvius Leopold Weiss was a German composer and lutenist. Born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, also a lutenist. Weiss was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. He wrote around 600 pieces for lute, most of them grouped into ‘sonatas’ or suites, which consist mostly of baroque dance pieces. In later life, Weiss became a friend of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and met J.S. Bach through him. J.S.Bach and Weiss were said to have competed in improvisation. The Fantasia is in two sections. The first section is an unmeasured prelude which is followed by a fugue like second section. A Passacaille is a ground song, which is a kind of continuous variation. The bassline is kept intact and repeated while the upper voices vary in rhythmic and melodic material.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
I can add nothing to the highly chronicled life of Bach. The Prelude is from Bach’s first Cello Suite, BWV 1007 which was written during his Cothen period (1717-1723). Originally in G Major, it is here performed in the key of D Major from my own transcription. Previously, I had played a very famous transcription by a very famous guitarist. I had played that transcription for over twenty years.
Catalan Folk Songs
Miguel Llobet first harmonized these and eight other folk melodies for the guitar one-hundred years ago. They are now standards of the Classical Guitar Repertoire. El Testament d’Amelia, or Amelia’s Testament, is a popular Catalan folk melody that conveys the sadness of a mourner for a dying princess. El Noi de la Mare, or The Son of the Mother is a popular seasonal piece that is often a popular encore.
Joaquin Malats (1872-1912)
Malats was a Catalan composer and pianist from Barcelona. His career was short-lived, but he is credited with introducing the public to Albeniz’s Iberia. All that exists of his playing are a few privately made early cylinders. The Serenata Espanola is undoubtedly his most famous composition for piano. It found a comfortable home within the guitar repertoire with a transcription by Francisco Tarrega, followed by many others.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Villa-Lobos was a Brazilian composer who wrote numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works. His music was influenced by both European classical tradition and the native folk music of Brazil. He was an accomplished cellist and guitarist. The Cinq Preludes were published in 1940. Prelude 4 in e minor is an Homage to the Brazilian Indians. Prelude 5 in D major is an Homage to Social Life.
Agustin Barrios -Mangore (1885-1944)
Barrios was a virtuoso guitarist and composer born in southern Paraguay. There are three major categories that are revealed in his works: Folkloric, Imitiative and Religious. Julia Florida was written for a lady in his life. It is a barcarolle or boat song. The piece sometimes imitates the creaking of a boat at sea. La Catedral is one of the most famous pieces by Barrios. It’s three sections take the listener from a meloncholy melody and reflective mood of the Preludio to an atmosphere of the lofty in the Andante, which imitates the organ and the compositions of Bach. The Allegro then takes a turn to the busy, bustling streets.
S. Sean Six (b. 1969)
Apunte de Finisterre is a sketch, a note of remembrance, of the short time I had to sit and take lunch on Cabo Finisterre, otherwise known as the End of the World. This cape has been a goal for pilgrims walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, after reaching Santiago de Compostela. The ancients thought that the cape really did mark the end of the world, as the world at that time was flat and there was no New World. Venus was worshipped there. Many things passed through my head in that short time: the 600 miles I hiked to get there, all of the lovely people I met along the way, life, returning to my old life, music, food. All of this while surrounded by the beautiful sites and sounds of the cape and miles of Water.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Executive Producer of this project, Baby Boy Healey.
Also a warm thanks to Dennis Line and Colorado360Media.com for a great photo shoot and awesome design work.
Recorded and Mastered at Clear Gravy Productions, Frederick, CO. ©2012 S. Sean Six, All Rights Reserved.