Giuliani / Marchelie / Boccherini
Simon Schembri / Quatuor Parisii
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On this CD by the title The Maltese Touch guitarist Simon Schembri and Parisii Quartet present three works which, alongside virtuosity of execution, also display a wide range of emotions and contrasts. The guitar concerto op. 30 by Mauro Giuliani was arranged for guitar and string quartet by the composer himself. Luigi Boccherini who was for many years in the service of the Bourbon court and other nobility in Madrid dedicated his composing the specific native sound scapes, that his adopted country Spain offered. Thus he arranged a number of his earlier string quintets for guitar and string quartet like the Quintet in D major, G. 448 "Fandango". The piece Nazca by the French guitarist and composer Erik Marchelie was written in 1988 and refers to the enigmatic drawings on the desert floor of the Peruvian desert.
The guitar was a very popular instrument when Simon Schembri discovered it at the age of six on the island of Malta, his native country. By the age of nine he was already giving concerts. He was awarded the licence of the Royal Schools of Music of London (LRSM) when he was just 14. The following year he has was chosen to join the class of Alexandre Lagoya at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, where he won first prize. A prize-winner in international competitions (Montélimar, Guitar Foundation of America and Young Concerts Artists of America), he is a member of the Yehudi Menuhin and Georges Cziffra Music Foundations. The Malta Classical Music Award paid tribute to his career and his contribution to the Maltese music scene.
Simon Schembri is greatly interested in the evolution and development of the guitar. He has premiered several works by Jacques Chailley, Erik Marchelie, Gordon Mizzi or Karl Fiorini and has worked closely with Spanish guitar-maker Ignacio Rozas and with the string producer Savarez. He holds a professorship and regularly gives master classes at summer music academies: Académie internationale de musique de Lozère, des Pays de Loire and Musicalta.
Founded by four students from the Conservatory of Paris, all of them first prize-winners in the areas of both solo instrumental and chamber music, the Parisii Quartet recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, marking outstanding achievements over a 30-year-long musical and human adventure, characterized by a unique intensity and richness.
The keystone in their itinerary, the search of the perfect sound and the profound conviction that music needs to be lived from the inside, was handed down to the Parisii Quartet by its master, Maurice Crut, the brilliant representative of the Franco-Belgian tradition and member of the renowned Pascal Quartet.
The Parisii Quartet's discography faithfully reflects its musical itinerary and is distinguished by its breadth and eclecticism. As well as the entire works for string quartet of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Anton Webern, its first recordings were dedicated to the French repertoire (Jacques Ibert, Albert Roussel, Germaine Tailleferre, Gabriel Pierné, César Franck, Gabriel Fauré), and brought the Quartet unanimous recognition throughout the world. Its discography also covers a contemporary repertoire with numerous original works (Gilbert Amy, Gérard Pesson, Edith Canat de Chizy), as well as the rediscovery of key works from the 20th century (Reynaldo Hahn, Pierre Menu, Pierre Boulez).