frank wallace

2014.03.20

Speak Love song-cycle review

Review by David Isaacs in Soundboard Vol 40, No. 1

This collection of seven love songs, a setting of the poetry of Henriette de Saussure Blanding, grandmother to guitarist Thomas Heck’s wife, written from 1909 to 1910, is breathtaking and instantly engaging. From the opening melody of Were I a Bird, Frank Wallace captures the listener with his intriguing sense of beauty. He uses odd time signatures, arpeggio bursts, rhythmic themes, chromaticism, unmeasured passages, harmonics and tambours to bring
these words to life. No matter how intricate the tuplets or the time signatures, the melodies remain graceful and intensely expressive.

A couple of these songs are wonderful pieces to introduce young guitarists and singers to the idea of working together. The pieces work well individually, as smaller groups, or the entire collection could be presented in a little over fifteen minutes. The vocal range is G-sharp 2—F-sharp 4, or an octave higher at an intermediate level, and the guitar parts vary from simple to intermediate level playing. The presentation of the set is pristine, with fingerings and notes to guide preferred tempo changes. Recordings, samples and digital versions are available at: www.gyremusic.com
David Isaacs

2014.01.03

The Five Zero Hartt Project

I began thinking about “chamber symphony” several years ago somewhat after the fact. I had written an extended 3 section song called Epitafio a un Pájaro for voice, flute, and 2 guitars. Sometime after it was done I was compelled to write another piece using the same motivic ideas - they were based on the name of the poet of Epitafio, Federico García Lorca. This was Un Establo de Oro for two guitars, flute and cello.  La Perla del Pico for flute and guitar quartet, a guitar duo called Sombra para mis Gritos and finally a piece for narrator and guitar, De la Muerte Oscura, followed. I had written a small “chamber symphony” without knowing it!

I was left with the desire to “do it again.” Perhaps with more intention, as the first time I had no idea that I was going to go so far. My ensuing proposal to several ensembles in the Hartford area, with the steadfast support of Richard Provost and the Hartt School, led to the Hartt Five Zero Project, a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Guitar Department with five local ensembles participating. The Augustin Foundation has generously supported the commission of seven works for the following groups to be performed on April 12, 2012 at the Hartt School in Hartford. CT: Phenix Ensemble: Richard Provost, guitar; Anton Miller, violin; Rita Porfiris, viola Pandora Duo: Christopher Ladd, guitar; Janet Arms, flute New England Guitar Quartet: Nick Cutroneo; Jeremy Milligan; Daniel Hartington; Christopher Ladd  Alturas Duo Scott Hill, guitar; Carlos Boltes, viola and charango  Kaleidos: Yovianna Garcia, voice and guitar: Sayun Chang, voice and percussion.

2013.12.15

Second Place Prize for My Vital Breath

I just received this notice and am extremely honored to receive the prize for my composition My Vital Breath for mandolin orchestra, written in honor of Benjamin Britten’s 100th Anniversary. Congratulations to Juan García Escudero for receiving the First Prize!

Estimados socios y amigos:

 Ayer por la tarde, durante un concierto ofrecido por La Orden de la Terraza con obras ganadoras de años precedentes, se dio a conocer el fallo del jurado del Concurso Internacional de Composición “José Fernández Rojas” 2013.

 Os transcribo el acta del jurado:

En Logroño, a 5 de diciembre de 2013, siendo las 13:00h el jurado del Concurso Internacional de Composición “José Fernández Rojas” falla los premios de la edición 2013, siendo los ganadores los siguientes compositores y obras:

PRIMER PREMIO, dotado con 2.000 € a la obra

“The Shift”, cuya autor es Juan García Escudero, de Murcia (España).

ACCÉSIT, dotado con 500 € a la obra

“My Vital Breath”, cuyo autor es Frank Wallace, de Antrim, New Hampshire (Estados Unidos).

Mi enhorabuena a los ganadores.

En este enlace podéis ver el palmarés de este concurso: http://www.bip-rioja..com/03concpremios.html

Un saludo

 Antonio Cerrajería Arza

Presidente FEGIP

2013.12.11

2013.11.22

2013.10.25

New chamber music and sale at Gyre Music

Read today’s’ blog, Sustaining Power, writing for wind quintet.

2013.10.04

New Website | Frank Wallace, classical guitarist, composer, baritone, lutenist
Post yesterday was a bit vague!  Spherical Communications, led by Adam Wallace with assistance from Sam Baker-Salmon, has created a gorgeous new site for me. Nancy Knowles, my wife and long-time Duo LiveOak partner, was also instrumental in the design and took most of the photographs. Thank you ALL for such a wonderful new focal point to my work.

New Website | Frank Wallace, classical guitarist, composer, baritone, lutenist

Post yesterday was a bit vague!  Spherical Communications, led by Adam Wallace with assistance from Sam Baker-Salmon, has created a gorgeous new site for me. Nancy Knowles, my wife and long-time Duo LiveOak partner, was also instrumental in the design and took most of the photographs. Thank you ALL for such a wonderful new focal point to my work.

2013.08.12

Mobius Trio will perform More Gargoyles at San Francisco Conservatory on September 6.  See a video and read notes bout the piece at Gyre Music.

Mobius Trio will perform More Gargoyles at San Francisco Conservatory on September 6.  See a video and read notes bout the piece at Gyre Music.

2013.07.24

I have recently received this unusual and wonderful CD from a new group of seasoned performers -

ASTERIA ENSEMBLE

Since 2009 Sytse Buwalda forms a duo with guitarist Saskia Spinder. Famous composer Leo Brouwer wrote and dedicated his Ballade de un dia de julioto them after hearing their performance at the International Guitar Festival Zwolle, as did New York based Greek composer Victor Khioulaphides with his song cycle Violenstraat. In 2011 they asked award winning mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk to join them which led to the foundation of the Asteria Ensemble: an ensemble specialised and dedicated to new compositions. This year they await new compositions by Victor Khioulaphides, Pablo Escande, Daan Manneke and Tom Edskes. April 2013 the Asteria Ensemble will release their first cd which will contain several world premieres by a.o.: Leo Brouwer, Victor Khioulaphides.

2013.04.07

ORACION and CUNCTIPOTENS review

THIS JUST APPEARED IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF CLASSICAL GUITAR

CD available at Gyre Music
See review

ORACION
E. CORDERO EL Carbonerilo. R. WESTERHEIDE: Mistral. E. STOPLER: Luminescence. P. Van der
STAAK: Theme, Variations et Finale; Tombeau. A. KRUISBRINK: Tendresse. A. BARRIOS: Gauota al
E stilo Antiguo ; Oracion para Todos. J. BARTLEMA: Trois Prieres. A. OURKOUZOUNOV: Berceuse: Caprice on an Orthodox Chant. F. WALLACE: Cunctipotens Genitor

Jan Bartlema
DaminusRecords DAM998CD
Jan Bartlema was born in Zwolle in 1959 into a musical family and after studying guitar at Zwolle and Enschede with Pieter van der Staak and Jorge Oraison respectively he furthered his studies under Milan Zelenka. He now lives in the Danish town of Drachten.  

From every perspective this new release is a superb addition to the constantly growing number of guitar CDs released every month. The playing is exemplary; Bartlema’s enviable and seemingly effortless technical facility around the fingerboard allowing him the luxury of phrasing and interpreting the music exactly how he perceives it and the end result is a masterclass in musical presentation.

With eight of the fourteen tracks receiving their premiere recordings (two of which, the Stopler and one of the Ourkouzounov ones, being dedicated to the performer) the majority of the music itself will probably be unfamiliar to most. The quality of this programme adds a further notch on the ‘excellent’ stakes of this disc for there is no single piece in this list, which lets the side down, all being of such high quality writing. There is the virtuosic, moto perpetuo excitement of Reinhold Westerheide’s Mistral; Pieter van der Staak’s Theme, Variations et Finale with its enchanting short theme and the following Manuel Ponce-inspired variations; the performer’s own Trois Prieres, a set of relaxing and meditative prayers, and the final track, a lengthy fantasia based around a Gregorian chant by the American composer Frank Wallace. These are the highlights in a programme of outstanding musical quality.

Add to this extensive and informative sleeve notes and a brilliant recorded sound quality and this makes Oracion a ‘must-have’ disc for all serious collectors of good classical guitar music.

Highly recommended.

Steve Marsh