Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) conducting his oratorio "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, in 2001. Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky

Monday, September 24, 2018

Giacomo Susani plays Joaquin Turina, Dionisio Aguado and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (HD 1080p)

The Italian guitarist Giacomo Susani plays Joaquín Turina's Fandanguillo, Op.36, Dionisio Aguado's Rondo Brillante No.2 Op.2 in A minor, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Capriccio diabolico ("Omaggio a Paganini"), Op.85. Recorded at Off Theatre, Padua, in December 2015.

The Fandanguillo was one of the many products of the emergence of Andrés Segovia as a guitar virtuoso. In the 1920s, early in his career, Segovia asked Joaquín Turina to compose some solo guitar works for him. In 1926, Turina produced the Fandanguillo, which he said was derived in part from some of the traditional music of his homeland. The rhythmic qualities of flamenco music are never far away in this work, and the zapateado – the percussive sounds produced by the heels of a dancer's shoes hitting the floor – are called to mind in the percussive sounds drawn from the the guitar strings. This short work is for the most part an extroverted one, with a more mellow central section providing contrast. A run of harmonics toward the end of the piece leads into its quiet chordal ending.

Source: Chris Morrison (

As Canadian guitarist Drew Henderson mentions for the Rondo Brillante No.2 Op.2 by Dionisio Aguado, "The theme of this Rondo bears a striking resemblance to Beethoven's famous ‘Pathetique’ Sonata, Op.13 No.8. Given that this piece was published in the year of Beethoven's death (1827), perhaps we can call it a ‘tribute’. However, the dedication is to Aguado's contemporary, François de Fossa". 

A few years before leaving Italy in 1938 in the face of rising anti-Semitism, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco had written this charming ten-minute piece, ostensibly as a tribute to Paganini. Having composed it for the guitar virtuoso Andrés Segovia, he consciously attempted to draw a parallel between himself and Paganini. Will the latter ever be separated from that disparaging word, diabolical? Naturally, one will recognize thematic references to Paganini here, but the music is still Castelnuovo-Tedesco's own, even if the listener is often stylistically taken back to the early nineteenth century. The work opens with a dramatic introduction based on the main theme, then goes on to present that theme in a lively creation that, not surprisingly, divulges an Italianate character. The melodic material is deftly worked out as the music takes on a heroic manner in the central sections. In the latter part of the piece, it grows increasingly difficult, as rapid-fire notes heighten tension and bring on blazing colors, the music building toward a virtuosic climax. This brilliant piece will appeal to most fanciers of serious guitar music.

Source: Robert Cummings (

Joaquín Turina (1882-1949)

♪ Fandanguillo, Op.36 (1926)

Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849)

♪ Rondo Brillante No.2 Op.2 in A minor (1827)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)

♪ Capriccio diabolico ("Omaggio a Paganini"), Op.85 (1935)

Giacomo Susani, guitar

(Guitar Domingo Esteso, 1926)

Off Theatre, Padua, December 2015

(HD 1080p)

Giacomo Susani is an Italian guitarist (Padua, 29 April 1995). He started playing the guitar at the age of 7 and eventually studied under the direction of Stefano Grondona at the Conservatorio Arrigo Pedrollo in Vicenza where he graduated with the highest marks and honours in 2013. He is currently continuing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, in the class of Michael Lewin, where he has completed his Bachelor of Music (2014-2016), gaining First Class Honours and the discretionary Bache Fund Prize and his Master of Arts (2016-2018), gaining High Distinction, Dip Ram for an outstanding final recital and Gershon Ellenbogen / Maccabaen Award; here is now studying his Advanced Diploma in Performance (2018-2019). On his entrance to the Academy he was awarded the prestigious Julian Bream Trust Scholarship, after an audition with Julian Bream himself.

Over the years he has taken part in masterclasses and attended advanced courses with leading guitarists such as Paul Galbraith, Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Carles Trepat, Fabio Zanon. In particular he obtained scholarships and diplomas of merit in Oscar Ghiglia's renewed guitar courses at the Accademica Musicale Chigiana in Siena.

He has regularly taken part in guitar competitions from an early age, always obtaining excellent results and, on many occasions, winning first prize. In October 2016 he won First Prize at the London International Guitar Competition playing on this occasion the premiere of Orpheus by Graham Lynch for guitar and orchestra. Among the most recent prizes are a Special Prize for the best performance of a newly commissioned piece at Guitar Masters Competition in Poland, 2nd Prize at Gianni Bergamo Classical Music Award in Switzerland and ESTA Prize for the best performance of a contemporary piece at Forum Gitarre Wien Competition, all of them awarded between September and November 2016.

In April 2017 he was awarded First Prize at the Ivor Mairants Guitar Award in London after which he became a Yeoman of The Musicians' Company. Shortly after, he won the Ian Fleming Award following an audition for Help Musicians UK as well as the Star Award of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and First Prize at the David Russell Guitar Award. In July 2018 he won 2nd Prize at the 7th Changsha International Guitar Competition (China). In 2016 he was also selected by the International Guitar Foundation under their Young Artist Platform Scheme for a series of concerts across the UK and in 2018 as a "Young Star" for EuroStrings – European Guitar Festival Collaborative (the first European platform in the field of classical guitar gathering 14 classical guitar festivals that have a professional structure to enable further education and professional development of emerging guitar players): with this opportunity, he played and took masterclasses in most of European Festivals (Austria, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Finland, Estonia, Holland).

As a performer he regularly appears in important venues in Italy and other countries as soloist, soloist with orchestra and in chamber ensembles, the most important venues including London, Cambridge, Canterbury, Bristol, Barcelona, Vienna, Milan, Padua, Venice, Budapest.

In February 2015 the recording studio Stradivarius brought out his first solo CD "Giacomo Susani plays Petrassi, Bach, Tansman, Weiss", which obtained excellent reviews from the public and critics alike published most notably in "BBC Music", "Gendai Guitar", "Il Fronimo", "Classical Guitar" and "Amadeus"; in 2016 he took part in a recording project J.S. Bach. The four suites for Lute, under the direction of Stefano Grondona, playing the "Suite 1006a"; in Autumn 2018 Stradivarius is publishing his second solo CD "Gebeth. Romantic music for Guitar. Mertz - Regondi".

In 2017 the Polish composer Marek Pasieczny dedicated to him his own solo guitar composition called Tate Sonata. Besides performing, he works in the field of composition, writing and premiering in London most recently Quintet for Guitar and Strings, Songs of Elegance and Wisdom for Soprano and Guitar and Of Dark Tales for two Guitars. Quintet and Songs of Elegance and Wisdom have been published by Armelin Musica (Padua, IT, 2017). He is also the Artistic Director of Momùs-More Music, a Musical Association based in Italy which promotes and organises classical music concerts.

Giacomo Susani plays a guitar made by the English luthier David Rubio (1996), a guitar made by the Spanish luthier Domingo Esteso (1926) and a guitar by the German luthier Matthias Dammann (2013) kindly provided by Calleva Foundation (London).

Giacomo is grateful for being kindly supported by the Julian Bream Trust, the Calleva Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Help Musicians UK and The Countess of Munster Musical Trust.


More photos

See also

Giacomo Susani – All the posts

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