Brazil’s Quarternaglia Guitar Quartet at Classical 101

Mar 11, 2020

Here in America, we love our guitar heroes. Name any one of them – Hendrix, Prince, Santana, Van Halen – and memories of monster riffs start rolling in.

But imagine having Hendrix, Prince, Santana and Van Halen all in the same room together.

Now, that’s some virtuoso mojo.

Recently, Brazil’s Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet filled the Classical 101 studio with its own brand of São Paulo-style virtuosity.

The Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet has been around for 25 years and, in addition to performing globally, the group has substantially contributed to the guitar quartet repertoire, creating original quartet arrangements of other works and commissioning new works for the ensemble. So far, the group has recorded nearly 30 new works for guitar quartet.

Check out the video of the quartet’s performance in the Classical 101 studio, starting with Dancing a Popular Fandango, a work written originally for guitar quartet by Spanish composer Francisco Torroba.

Since 2009, the Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet has boasted its own composer, Chrystian Dozza, who wrote the second selection on the video, On a Theme by Gismonti. That work was inspired by a tune by noted Brazilian guitarist, pianist and composer Egberto Gismonti, who produced one of the Quarternaglia Guitar Quartet’s recordings.

“Gismonti’s very special for us,” Dozza said, introducing his piece, “so this is an homage to him.”

And be sure to catch the final work on the video, the Mambo from Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. To mark the occasion of the 2018 centenary of Bernstein’s birth, the quartet created this guitar quartet arrangement of Bernstein’s massive orchestral score in collaboration with Brazilian orchestra conductor Thiago Tavares.