António Pinho Vargas on guitar on the new Pedro Rodrigues’ album

The classical guitarist Pedro Rodrigues gave “to his creativity” and transcribed for classical guitar pieces by António Pinho Vargas, which constitute the exclusive alignment of his new CD, “Guitar and other stories”, which is published today.

In the booklet accompanying the CD, António Pinho Vargas reveals that in the text he wrote in the two piano volumes edited by Notação XXI in 2008 and 2009, Dinky Toys and Twins Peak and other stories, respectively, suggested: “that musicians could use the scores giving their creativity away from published pieces.”

According to the composer, “with great speed, the first response of this kind came from Pedro Rodrigues, certified credit guitarist”, who sent him a recording of his transcript of “Tom Waits”, accompanied by a request for permission to eventually make transcriptions of other parts.

“Not only did I authorize as much as I encouraged, in fact, the quality of transcription and execution was such that it surprised the author himself, deserving my support and my expectation,” says Pinho Vargas.

Thus came the CD ‘Guitar and other stories’, made up of eleven compositions, as well as ‘Tom Waits’, also ‘Vilas Morenas’, ‘Brinquedos’ and ‘A Dança dos Pássaros’, among others, all by António Pinho Vargas , transcribed for classical guitar by Pedro Rodrigues, winner, among others, of Artists International Auditions, New York.

The album also includes the compositions ‘The Hands’, ‘Beautiful Branch, Dark Green’, ‘Four Women’, ‘Fado Negro’, ‘Uma Já Antiga’, ‘June’ and ‘Sentimento de um Occident’.

For Pinho Vargas, “on this album Pedro Rodrigues, based on his transcriptions and after some years in which he played some of these pieces in many concerts in several countries, presents us with a range of variations and improvisations very idiomatic, proper to the guitar , and he does it with great efficiency and instrumental quality, only within reach of the great musicians “.

Pedro Rodrigues, for his part, states that, through the compositions of Antonio Pinho Vargas, he found something he had long sought, “a Portuguese work, universally cherished.”

The 38-year-old musician says that since the age of 20 he has performed in concerts “all over the world” and felt “always on the part of the public, a lot of curiosity about what Portuguese music culture would be like.”

“From our musical culture, the first reference was and will be the fado, a style that I could never perform, despite the recurring requests,” confesses the musician, until he had in his memory “the beginning of ‘Tom Waits'”, music who has heard “countless times on a vinyl record”.

“After a first transcription and after being able to play this piece for colleagues, the enchantment she produced was immediately noticeable. She had found a Portuguese work universally cherished wherever she went.”

The musician points out his admiration for the music of Pinho Vargas, and thanks his “enthusiasm and encouragement” in this work.

About António Pinho Vargas, emphasizes the classical guitarist, “his power of synthesis of the beautiful, for the richness and diversity that, without borders, contributed to the musical culture”.

Pedro Rodrigues is a professor in the Department of Communication and Art at the University of Aveiro and recently created and presented the program ‘Six Strings for a Country’ at RTP-Antena 2.

Your transcripts and edits are edited by Mel Bay Publications, AVA Editions and Notation XXI. As a researcher, he lectured in England, Brazil, and Portugal, dedicated to the themes of transcription and contemporary music.

Winner of Artists International Auditions, New York, Concorso Sor, Rome and the Young Musicians Prize, among other awards, Pedro Rodrigues began his musical career at the age of five with José Mesquita Lopes at the Orpheão School of Music Leiria, where he finished his studies with the maximum qualification as a fellow of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

He participated in masterclasses with David Russell, Leo Brouwer, Joaquin Clerch and Darko Petrinjiak, and later studied with Alberto Ponce at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, where he received the Superior Diplomas of Concert in Chamber Music and Guitar, the latter with the unanimously and congratulations from the jury.

Under the guidance of Paulo Vaz de Carvalho and Alberto Ponce, in 2011, he completed his PhD at the University of Aveiro, as a fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology.

Among other rooms, he performed solo at Carnegie Hall, New York, Salle Cortot, Paris, Ateneo and Manuel de Falla Hall, Madrid, Endler Hall, Cape Town, South Africa, Centro Cultural de Belém, Casa da Música and the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Grand Auditorium, as well as festivals such as Mikulov, Paris, Santo Tirso, Música Viva, Sernancelhe, Caruso and Forfest Kromeriz, among others.

According to the musician, he has already released “more than 60 works of the most important Portuguese composers”, such as João Pedro Oliveira, Cândido Lima, Isabel Soveral, Sara Carvalho, Sérgio Azevedo, José Luís Ferreira, António Sousa Dias, and Carlos Caires among others.

As a soloist, he played, among others, with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Filarmonia das Beiras, the Orquestra do Algarve and the Chamber Orchestra of Cascais and Oeiras, among others.

His first album dates from 2002, ‘L’Histoire du Tango’, having already edited twelve CDs. The most recent, ‘Màchina Lirica’, dates from 2015, to which ‘Guitar and other stories’ happens.

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