Leo Brouwer – Estudios Sencillos Study No 2

About the piece

Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida (born March 1, 1939) is a Cuban composer, conductor, and classical guitarist. This is study number 2 from his Estudios Sencillos. I love the weirdness of this piece. There’s nothing that sounds quite like it!

Mic: Blue Yeti
Camera: Canon 1200D
Guitar: Miguel Lopez mod 013f
Strings: Savarez 510 AJ

About the composer

Leo Brouwer was born in Havana, Cuba. His father, a physician, was an aficionado of classical guitar composers such as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Francisco Tárrega and Enrique Granados. This interest was passed on from father to son and from a young age Brouwer was encouraged to learn the works of such composers, largely by ear.

His later formal classical guitar instruction from the noted Cuban guitarist and pedagogue Isaac Nicola, who was himself a former student of Emilio Pujol thus benefiting from a teaching method which can be traced back to the Francisco Tárrega. Studies in the United States of America at the Hartt College of Music, part of the University of the Hartford followed. A further stint at the Julliard School of Music in New York City featuring guitar studies under Vincent Persichetti, and composition classes with Stefan Wolpe added to his musical education. Cuban folk music was a major influence in Leo Brouwers early compositions , but later during the 1960’s and 70’s he became more interested in modernist music composition, such as that of Luigi Nono and Iannis Xenakis. Works from this period of his composition include : Canticum (1968), La espiral eterna (1971), Parábola (1973) and Tarantos (1974). In more recent times tonality and modality has been prominent , solo guitar works El Decamerón Negro (1981) the Sonata (1990; for Julian Bream) and Paisaje cubano con campanas, (1986) illustrate this more recent trend.

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