Regino and Eduardo Sainz de la Maza

In Brief

  • Title: Regino & Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, complete music for guitar
  • Musician: Salvatore Fortunato, gitaar.
  • Identification: Brilliant 95417.
  • Recording year: 2020.
  • Publication year: 2020.

Rondena by Regino Sainz de la Maza

Homenaje a Toulouse Lautrec by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza

Review

Precisely in the year that the performing arts were hit by lockdowns due to the corona crisis, the Italian guitarist Salvatore Fortunato made a special recording in the studio. Without a face mask, I hope, music should breathe.

The double CD is dedicated to music by the Sainz de la Maza brothers, Regino (1896 – 1981) and Eduardo (1903 – 1982). The first CD contains music by Regino, part of the first and the entire second CD is dedicated to music by Eduardo.

Both brothers were addicted to the guitar, but developed in their own way. Regino became a passionate performing musician of international fame. Much of his energy was spent on concerts, but he also composed, especially virtuoso variations on forms from Spanish folk music.

Eduardo was more modest in character. He was so impressed and at the same time discouraged by his brother’s talent that he first exchanged the guitar for the cello. However, blood creeps where it can’t go, the guitar returned and he focused on teaching and composing. He didn’t really like giving concerts. Eduardo composed in a more universal and melodious style than his brother. His tragedy was that the name Sainz de La Maza led many people to assume that the composer was his much more extrovert and better-known brother Regino. However, on this CD set the difference in style and atmosphere is clearly audible.

Regino’s compositions open with a set of flamenco forms such as Allegrias, Zapateado and Seguidilla. Sparkling virtuoso with a few moments of rest. Cuatro Obras Originales is a small, sympathetic suite with a slightly more “classic” atmosphere. La Frontera de Dios is atmospheric music for the 1965 film of the same name. Regino’s compositions conclude with the well-known El Vito. Regino’s composition style is very guitaristic and remains close to traditional folk music.

Eduardo’s compositions open with the stylistic Laberinto, a clearly classical piece with more complex harmonies. The well-known eight-part suite Platero y Yo on the adventures of a little donkey concludes the first CD. Original and sympathetic music with some harmonious adventure here and there.

The second CD starts with a Bolero in a stylized form. That is the beginning of a CD full of music in which Eduardo shows himself to be more adventurous in terms of composition than his brother, with countless elements in various styles, from Impressionism to jazzy. Interesting are the Homenajes on the guitar, the painter Toulouse-Lautrec and the composer Haydn. The tremolo piece Campanas de Alba concludes Eduardo’s compositions, 😉 his own competitor for Recuerdos de la Alhambra. Eduardo’s compositions are introvert, but rich in content and depth.

In this way, the CD gives an interesting impression of the music of the two brothers.

Obviously, guitarist Salvatore Fortunato has a very important task in conveying their sounds. He does this well with a clear feeling for the atmosphere of the compositions, he breathes the lines in the music perfectly.

The recording is clear and bright, it does not suffer from blurring due to an overly large room or overenthusiasm of the recording technician when mixing reverb. It gives the music an intimate character.

The CD booklet contains a short but clear description of the music in English and Italian. Remarkably, Salvatore Fortunato’s biography is only in English.

Personally, I greatly enjoy listening to this interesting collection of guitar music. The palette of moods and styles offers a pleasant listening experience. It is nice that the Brilliant Classics label pays attention to guitar projects that are slightly outside the mainstream. A valuable and very affordable addition to the guitar repertoire.

To illustrate this, I am adding a listening example of both composers.

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