The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet launched its most recent collaborative program in the 2016-2017 season with the first performances of Music of Love and the Stars commissioned by and written for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet and SATB choir by notable guitarist/composer Jeffrey Van. To complement this important new work, we offer our own arrangements of Gabriel Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 and Fauré’s Madrigal, Op. 35 for guitar quartet and SATB choir.
The inspiration for this exciting one of a kind collaboration came about for two reasons. First, there is the unqualified and continuing success of Jeffrey Van’s work for SATB choir and solo guitar A Procession Winding Around Me, which has been performed all over the world by many different guitarists and choirs. Secondly, Jeffrey Van has been a primary teacher to many of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet players, both past and present.
In the composer’s own words, Music of Love and the Stars provides a perfect vehicle for the guitar quartet to not only support, but to enhance the choral settings of these beautiful texts. After all, the guitar has always been the traditional instrument of romance and passion. And, here we have not one, but four guitars, and a vocal ensemble to reflect upon the poetic texts of the late, great Mexican guitar virtuoso and Andrés Segovia protégé, Jesus Silva. Guitar interludes linking the movements highlight the quartet, provide contrast, and serve to create and anticipate the nature of the choral movement which follows.