In her new release, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang performs the most famous concerto for her instrument: Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. Recorded in Barcelona in July, 2010, Xuefei’s performance alongside the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, harkens back to the 1939 premier of this great work by the same Orchestra.
Coupled with this famous concerto is a new concerto based on arrangements of four works by the guitar master, Albéniz, whose 100th anniversary it was in 2009. The arrangements of these four works are by the composer Stephen Goss, who is also responsible for the beautiful solo arrangements of Chinese folksongs on Xuefei’s most recent album: 40 Degrees North.
The album also contains Albéniz’ rarely recorded complete solo suite España: 6 hojas de album on guitar, as well as Rodrigo’s solo piece Invocación y danza, which was written in 1961 and won the first prize in Coupe International de Guitare, awarded by Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF). At age 14, Xuefei played the Invocación y danza in the presence of Rodrigo during her Madrid debut in 1991. The piece is dedicated to guitarist and composer de la Maza. Incidentally, R. Sainz de la Maza is also the composer of the exclusive iTunes bonus track available with this album, “Zapateado.”