I mainly write about piano music, but this album caught my attention! This is a classical guitar album by Phoenix based classical guitarist and composer John Oeth. In 2018, he was honored to perform for United States Senator John McCain’s memorial service. Successful concerts throughout the United States have built up his reputation for making sophisticated art music accessible to audiences of all musical backgrounds. This has led to unique performance opportunities such as sharing a concert with Billboard Top 100 artist Jordin Sparks.
Tell us something about Castles of Spain!
The bulk of the album is a 14-movement work called Castillos de España. Each track is based on a castle in Spain. The structure, the history, and the elements of past life are shown in the music. I have played this work for more than 10 years, so these pieces have matured with me. Torija is the first from the set that I learned when I was 16 years old. I loved the piece so much I even made a piano arrangement of it.
At once elegant and strong, the history and culture display the beauty of Spain. It is that culture and nostalgia that is reflected in my latest album, Castles of Spain, a collection of works by Spanish composer Federico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982). Torroba met the legendary guitarist Andres Segovia in 1918, and Segovia convinced him to write for the guitar. Torroba rejected 20th-century avant-garde ideas in favor of tonal concert music that combines folk elements from Spain with the structure of classical music. His skill is shown in his ability to craft beautiful, lyrical melodies in the slow movements in addition to writing faster, rhythmic music that is undeniably Spanish.