Cadenza from “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre”

Composer: Joaquin Rodrigo (Gaspar Sanz)

YouTube video

Produced by GuitarCoop
Performance: Aniello Desiderio
Images / Edition: Eduardo Sardinha
Recording engineering: Ricardo Marui
Musical production: Henrique Caldas
Editing / Mixing: Ricardo Marui
Guitar: Alessandro Marseglia
Location: Estúdio Boa Vista (São Paulo/BR)
Date: May 15 2019

Chaconne – Aniello Desiderio plays Baroque Music

The Baroque as backdrop

By Sidney Molina

Beyond the clash between the recreation of traditional repertoire and the effort to present 18th century styles in their own terms, artists active in these first few decades of the 21st century have shifted the question to the relationships established between works in a given program. Beyond a linear choice of repertoire, musicians such as Desiderio create musical dialogism through their interpretative decisions: through sounds more opaque or luminous, tempo more nervous or subdued, phrases suave or angular, expression becomes more decisive than both external concepts and strict affiliation to particular technical-performatic schools.

The concluding movement of the Partita n.2 for solo violin has become, over time, an autonomous work, inspirer of famous arrangements and transcriptions for different groupings such as those of Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) for piano and Andres Segovia (1893-1987), for guitar. In the second half of the 20th century, on the other hand – responding to the growing prominence of historical research – artists preferred to read Bach’s “Chaconne” directly from the violin part, engaging in minimal alterations. The generation of Aniello Desiderio is beyond such dichotomies.

Nothing could provide greater contrast with the strict and effective Bachian musical discourse than the improvisatorial and open compositional framework of the dances from Instrucción de Música sobre la Guitarra Española by Gaspar Sanz (1640-1710), originally composed for baroque guitar (5-double strings). Desiderio opted for the arrangement by Spanish guitarist Narciso Yepes (1927-97), which incorporates modern elements introduced by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-99) in his Fantasía para um gentilhombre for guitar and orchestra (1954) dedicated to Segovia, perhaps the most successful piece fashioned from Sanz’s tablatures.

A Neapolitan like Desiderio, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) settled in the Iberian Peninsula at the start of the 1720s. His more than five hundred sonatas for keyboard (single movements in binary meter) constitute a legacy of virtuosity, creativity, and non-conventional exploration of harmonic and rhythmic elements.

Used frequently by pianists as openers or transitions in recitals and albums, some of these sonatas were employed by guitarists to similar effect in transcriptions by Segovia and his descendants. With the advent of critical editions and recordings by specialists, we have also seen the rise of albums solely dedicated to Scarlatti. In the world of the guitar, the pioneering 1973 LP by Brazilian soloist Carlos Barbosa-Lima is worthy of note.

The “set” chosen by Desiderio includes meditative works such as K.32, K.34 and K.213, pieces with obsessive rhythmic repetitions and shimmering ornamentation, such as K. 74 and K. 149, as well as the solemn baroque aesthetic of such sonatas as K. 144 and K.408.

The temporal pauses, emphasis on counterpoint, and repetitions in the figure D#-E-F#-E-D#-E in various voices in the performance of K. 466 (originally in F minor but transcribed, here,
in E minor) call attention to the shift accentuated above: without ever ceasing to be baroque music transcribed for guitar – with everything that implies in this second decade of the 21st century – Aniello Desiderio searches for something more, for something that transcends limits and labels.

Biography- Aniello Desiderio

In 1992, Aniello Desiderio graduated with honours from the Conservatory of Music in Alessandria, age of eight, he performed in public for the first time, displaying such outstanding gifts that music critics began to refer to him as an “enfant prodige,” “wunderkind,” “a genius,” “the Orpheus of the guitar,” “a guitarist of the century,” and“il Fenomeno.”

He has won 18 first place international awards in both national and international competitions, including the 1st Prize and Special Prize for best interpretation of South American music at the
International Guitar Competition in Havana, Cuba (1988); “Neapolitan of the Year” Award, Italy (1988); 1st Prize and Special Prize for best interpretation of Tarrega’s music at the International Francisco Tarrega Competition, Benicasim, Spain (1992); and the 1st Prize at the International “Guerrero” Competition, Madrid, Spain (1995).

He has performed as solist with orchestras in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa and regularly plays in the world’s most important theaters including Carnegie Hall, Palau de La Musica, Munich Philarmonie, Alte Opera, Tonhalle, Teatro delle Palme, Radio France, Die Gloke, Istanbul Philarmonie, Berlin, Philarmonie, and Opera House Wien.


1) Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004

2) Sonata K 213
3) Sonata K 74
4) Sonata K 408
5) Sonata K 144
6) Sonata K 32
7) Sonata K 149
8) Sonata K 34
9) Sonata K 466

Gaspar SANZ – Suite Espanola
10) Espanoletas
11) Gallarda y Villano
12) Danza de Las Hachas
13) Rujero y Paradetas
14) Zarabanda al Ayre Espanol
15) Passacalle de la Cavalleria de Napoles
16) Folias 1’46
17) La Minona de Cataluna
18) Canarios “including Cadenza from
“Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” by J. Rodrigo

Ficha Técnica

Idealização/Created by: GuitarCoop
Gravado em/Recorded at: Sala Boa Vista, São Paulo, Brazil
Data/Date: May 2019
Engenharia de Som/Sound Engineering: Ricardo Marui
Produção Musical/Produced by: Henrique Caldas
Edição/Digital Editing: Henrique Caldas
Mixagem/Mixing: Ricardo Marui
Masterização/Mastering: Ricardo Marui – Pinus Studio
Textos/Booklet notes: Sidney Molina
Tradução: David Molina
Design Gráfico/ Graphic Design: Eduardo Sardinha
Fotos/Photos: Eduardo Sardinha
Editoração Eletrônica/Publishing: Patricia Millan
Violão / Guitar: Alessandro Marseglia from Naples, Cedar Double Top
Cordas/Strings: D’Addario  HBH-3T and  SDH-3B
Microfones/Microphones: Royer SF-24, DPA 2006
Sistema de Gravação/Recording System: Metric Halo LIO-8
Pré-amplificador/Preamplifier: Millenia HV-3D
Cabos/Cables: Van den Hull D-102 


Special Thanks to Marcelo Kayath and the incredible staff of GuitarCoop.
I had great time in São Paolo during the recording session, Fabio Zanon and
Alberto Mesirca for the wonderful transcription of Sonatas K 144 and K 466

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