Eric Symons, Wendy Loder, Patrick Imbimbo

Two virtuoso classical guitarists and an exquisite soprano, who also is a superb violinist, combine their talents on this unique album with music from Italy, France, Spain and even an original composition.

Serenata is a diverse collection of pieces performed by Eric Symons and Patrick Imbimbo on guitar and the talented coloratura soprano/violinist Wendy Loder. Featured are original arrangements of popular operatic, piano and orchestral classics in the Italian and Spanish traditions. “For us the possibilities were endless. This is a new concept. Two guitars can be an orchestra, and with Wendy, an operetta!” according to Eric Symons, who arranged and composed for this new release.

The album begins with Mauro Giuliani’s Variazioni Concertanti Opus 130 for two guitars, which serves as a virtuoso overture for the operatic works by Paisiello, Puccini, Delibes, Iradier and Bizet that follow. “We wanted to record a fresh approach to beloved arias and operatic classics”, continues Symons, “and Wendy’s superb voice and interpretation made this a delicious task!”

The Spanish half of the album begins with Spanish works by French artists, including the Habanera from Carmen. El Arreglito by Iradier is the original song Bizet emulated in his beloved Habanera. Both are performed on two guitars. Wendy returns in a sassy rendition of Les Filles de Cadiz by Delibes. The program then turns to Spanish composers with duo guitar selections of Granados’ Spanish Dances Nos. 2 and 6 followed by Aranjuez Ma Pensee, Rodrigo’s vocal version of the famous 2nd movement from Concierto Aranjuez. Wendy arranged the vocal version for a haunting performance.

Rounding out the Spanish national compositions are two works by Manuel de Falla y Matheu: Homenaje a Debussy for solo guitar, and Spanish Dance No. 1 from La Vida Breve, arranged for violin and guitar.

The finale for Serenata is a new composition by Eric Symons called El Cantar de Cantantes I, the first of a series that features Wendy on both the violin and as a soprano, with a libretto from “Song of Songs I” from the Bible, sung in Ladino, the Jewish/Spanish dialect. It is the story of a romance between a poor lower class teenager and a prominent and wealthy suitor. The piece is rich with Jewish and Flamenco overtones.

Wendy Loder and Eric Symons have performed in concert for several years as duo as well as being well-known soloists. Patrick Imbimbo is a welcome addition to the ensemble and will be performing this program with Wendy and Eric during the 2012 concert season.

Serenata is a listening experience akin to a good novel, and shows how just three artists can create a sonic landscape that uplifts the soul.

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