The seeds were planted in the early 1970s when Deutsche Grammophon realised what amazing results could be achieved by recording on multichannel tapes, with either four or eight channels. Yet, due to a few restrictions, they never fully blossomed. Flaws in the playback equipment meant that music connoisseurs were prevented from enjoying these recordings in the way that artists, producers, engineers and other professionals intended, even though recording technology was already way ahead of its time.
Now ⎯ over a quarter of a century later ⎯ and thanks to the arrival of the multichannel Super Audio CD, there is finally a system available which permits this precious recording to be released in the quality it deserved back then. Joaquín Rodrigo modelled Concierto de Aranjuez on Spanish folk music. A lyrical movement is framed by two fast movements ⎯ in the first two the musical material is fully developed, whereas the structure of the Rondo finale is more static. It was such a big success that it is considered as one of his most important works. To continue such an achievement, Rodrigo composed Fantasía para un gentilhombre, where he created a musical monument, so to speak, with two Spanish “gentlemen of the guitar” ⎯ Sanz and Segovia ⎯ skilfully presenting the ancient melodies with a modern twist. And Rodrigo based his Concierto Madrigal for two guitars and orchestra on Jacques Arcadelt’s madrigal “Oh, my happy eyes”. The composer neatly combines Renaissance dances with Spanish and African-American folklore in the 10 movements of the suite-like work. Now on SACD, we finally get to enjoy Rodrigo’s music ⎯ with its astounding ability to bring about the feelings and visualisations of rural Spain and its romantic past ⎯ in the way it was meant to be enjoyed.