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"Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco enriched 20th-century guitar music with many significant works, including two large-scale cycles: the 24 Capichos de Goya for solo guitar, and the present set of 24 Preludes and Fugues for two guitars. The Well-Tempered Guitars embraces a wide range of styles and forms, from baroque dances and semi-tragic Beethoven/Chopin musings to angular Bartókian jibes (the E-flat minor Fugue), slinky modality (the E minor Prelude), and rhapsodic, jazzy ballads (are there hints of "Nature Boy" in the C minor Prelude?). The music is skillfully crafted, thoroughly idiomatic, and effective for the instruments, and bears its ambitious scope lightly, without pretensions. Excerpts often turn up on duo guitar programs, but rarely the entire opus. An earlier complete recording by the Duo Tedesco for Koch Schwann apparently is out of print, leaving Tacet′s Duo Favori with the field to itself.
The players perform magnificently. In the E minor Prelude, for example, the legato triplets seamlessly pass back and forth between instruments yet still manage to convey the composer′s agitato request. Notice, too, how the guitarists effortlessly dovetail the G major Prelude′s syncopated lines that spiral in opposite directions, and how they allow the D major Tempo di Giga fugue its bouncy due. They time and tint the F minor Prelude′s alternating hushed tremolos and "quasi recitativo" passages to haunting perfection and subsequently ease their way into its melancholy companion fugue. Tacet′s warm, ample engineering fully captures the Duo Favori′s impressive range of dynamics and colors, while duo partner Frank Armbruster′s excellent and enthusiastic booklet notes couldn′t be bettered. Enthusiastically recommended, and not just for guitar fans."
Jed Distler

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