Of all the ‘philharmonic’ or non-guitarist composers inspired to write for Andrés Segovia, none has left a larger or more varied body of work for the instrument than Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Looking back over his works late in life Ravelian mood, Castelnuovo-Tedesco cited the first guitar Concerto, Op.99, as his most successful work for the guitar. Today, more than 60 years after its composition, we can once again love this piece for its formal perfection and contrapuntal virtuosity. The slow movement, written as Castelnuovo-Tedesco was fleeing for his life from Mussolini’s Italy, is tinged with a uniquely lyrical nostalgia. Like many other artists of the time also fleeing the twin disasters of war and persecution, Castelnuovo-Tedesco settled in California. Here he was forced by economic necessity to compose for films and television.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.