Taro Takeuchi - Folias!

The ear-catching sound of the Baroque guitar played by a master

Author: 
John Duarte

Taro Takeuchi - Folias!

  • Follia
  • Ciaconna
  • Pavana por la D con partidas al aire español
  • Españoletas
  • Pavanas
  • Clarines y trompetas
  • Canarios
  • Folías
  • Suite
  • Allemande
  • Courante
  • Ciaconna
  • Folies d'Espagne

The five-course ‘Baroque’ guitar is a highly idiosyncratic instrument with a variety of tunings and no true bass. There were two styles of playing, rasgueado (strummed chords) and punteado (individually plucked notes, as with the lute). The two often co-existed in the same piece, as in the items by Corbetta, two of whose published books were dedicated to his students – Kings Louis XIV of France and Charles II of England; the book from which the items here are taken was dedicated to an Austrian Archduke.

Corbetta’s is the most sophisticated of the music written for the instrument. Sanz, an admirer of Corbetta, is best known for his no-nonsense arrangements of Spanish dances of his time. Most of those in this recording are less than one minute long and the announcements of their titles by Eligio Quinteiro will help the listener to keep track of the quickly passing events. Matteis, a Neapolitan who settled in London, is better known as a virtuoso violinist, but he included some attractive pieces for the guitar and continuo (here a bass viol) in his book The false consonances of musick (1682). As a teacher, the Belgian guitarist Le Cocq also had royal ‘connections’. His 10 minutes of spectacular variations on Folies d’Espagne is by far the longest piece in the recording and the most demanding on technique. Derosiers, an amateur guitarist, is here a connecting link. He copied manuscripts by Corbetta, Le Cocq and others for his own use; some would otherwise have remained unknown.

As to Taro Takeuchi, Baroque guitar playing doesn’t come better than this in any respect, and neither does the quality of the recording itself and the annotation.

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