Corona Guitar Kvartet’s discography

The Corona Guitar Kvartet sounds too good to be true. Let’s think about it: four professionals, four guitarists perfectly able to manage an excellent solo career that come together to create a quartet. Dedicated to contemporary music. Again, it’s too good to be true, and that’s right. In many years of career always at the highest levels the CGK has made six CDs, all of excellent quality.

Their first CD was released in 2001, entitled “Just Before The Dawn” with music by composer Dan Marmorstein and with two songs Just Before the Dawn and Foreplay. The first piece is a piece for tape recording and improvised piano. The second, Foreplay, instead is a piece for four guitars, specially commissioned by the CGK. The cd has a very beautiful graphics, drawings in black and white, with no apparent meaning, lines apparently arranged at random, but that capture the eye and the thought.

The second CD, “Northpoints”, was released in 2003 and the exploration continues in contemporary music. The subtitle is “5 contemporary Danish works for guitars quartet” and presents the compositions of Hans-Henrik Nordstrøm, John Frandsen, Østen Mikal Ore, Svend Hedegaard, Wayne Siegel. I really like the sentence that begins the texts contained in the booklet that accompanies the cd: “And how can we move forward from Fernando Sor?” And the answer is simple: “Let’s take some risks and disantangle ourselves from the notion that we are limited to a program of classical guitar music. “All the music is very recent and four of them are world premier recordings.

Two years pass, 2005, and this “Jonas Tamulionis – selected compositions for guitars” comes out. This time it’s a complete monograph for guitar works by the Lithuanian composer Jonas Tamulionis, where the CGK is also accompanied by the Duo Lapoli, the result is another very intense cd and another invitation to discover new repertoires, music, possibilities.

What would you expect at this point from this quartet? A dive into minimalism? Darmstadt’s political integrity? In 2009 they released their fourth album, selftitled title “Corona Guitar Kvartet” and for me it was a surprise: the repertoire features music by A. Piazzolla, Hsueh-Yung Shen, J.S.Bach, M. Ravel, T. Morley. And as a bonus the video of Tico Tico no Farelo / Fuba. As if to say: we make you listen to the whole world and all times. A wide, heterogeneous, transcultural and even postmodern repertoire. And then there is Bach. Perhaps the most contemporary author in the world, the cultural mine to which everyone aims and learns.

In 2011 the CGK returns to the monographic form on the so-called “Transatlantic Tales” dedicated to the American composer Faye-Ellen Silverman. Eight songs presented in the CD, where, for the first time, the CGK is also accompanied by other instruments, such as viola and clarinet and soprano and tenor voices.

The last CD of their extensive discography is “Taut” of 2015 and denotes a “lateral” shift with the music of composers such as Charles Norman Mason, Edward Green, Dorothy Hindman, Franco Sbacco, Fred Frith. I see this CD as a new stage in their journey, the attention for a different contemporary music, avant-garde but linked to figures a bit different from the academic composer. The latest demonstration of courage, the desire to explore a quartet of musicians always one step ahead, always open to new and eager to move forward, again.