Leo Brouwer was born in Havana in 1939, and we can trace his lineage as a guitarist back to Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909). His teacher was Isaac Nicola, initiator of the Cuban Guitar School, himself a pupil of Emilio Pujol, who in turn, studied with the great Tárrega. In 1959, Brouwer won a scholarship for a composition class at the Julliard School in New York. A period in Warsaw changed his outlook on composition completely, and the influence of ‘the Polish School’ upon him and other Cuban avant-garde artists was far-reaching. His work has involved both ballet and cinema, extending to symphonic works in the 1960s. Some of these works pick up on references to the past, Bach is sometimes detected, and the audience is invited to participate with a ‘shush’!
On this recital are his Estudios, or studies. These are in a direct line to the Études for guitar by Sor (1827) and Villa-Lobos (1929). His later works have a simplicity of line, and El decamerón negro from 1981 is an example of this late style.
- An important addition to the contemporary guitar discography.