Composition: Armand Coeck
Cello: Wouter Vercruysse
Guitar: Joris D'Haene & Micheline Dumortier
Armand Coeck and Wouter Vercruysse have already proven that guitar and cello sound amazing together, as is demonstrated in their first joint CD project “Nightbird”, which was released in 2008 under the label Auurk Records.
"I am chiefly known as a guitar composer", Armand Coeck clarifies. "For over half a century, the guitar has been my loyal companion, which has granted me the opportunity in the meantime to familiarize myself with it by and by. Through Wouter, I was able to discover the cello and explore its many technical possibilities. The originality of the melody is, for me, the most important aspect of music. And having the opportunity to write music for the paragon of all lyrical instruments, the cello, is a lifelong dream come true.”
This album is speckled with some of Coeck’s most recent cello compositions. Memories and musical discoveries of his early youth are what inspired the composer to embark upon these three works.
"The melody expressed in Cantus Angelorum spawned from an improvisation on an old Pleyel grand piano in a Romanesque cellar in the heart of Ghent during the Winter of 2011. It was an impromptu conception that drew upon Gregorian chants from my childhood when I was an altar boy. The title refers to statues of the weeping angel, who guards over old graves of the deceased.
Saudades (a Brazilian Portuguese term that can best be translated as “Nostalgia”) is a work that signifies a dear and loving reflection on a life engulfed in music and serves as a letter filled with hope for the generations of tomorrow. The motifs I used in Saudades date back to the earliest years of my youth. During the creation process, all these memories kept rushing back. The music was, in fact, allowing me to re-experience my youth.
With Fantasia, I wanted to pay tribute to the amazing genius that is Heitor Villa-Lobos. He was the first composer I looked up to, even to the extent that I imitated him in the beginning stages of my composition career. Fantasia is a bit like Villa-Lobos' work Chôros, that is, a rhapsodic sequence of melodies having no rational correlation to each other, and whilst they avert from all thematic dialectics, they surprisingly blend together ever so miraculously."
Armand Coeck (°1941, Menen, Belgium) has established himself as a self-taught expert in guitar playing and composition. In 1961 and '62 he shared the spotlight with Joaquín Rodrigo and Sainz de la Maza in the prestigious “Coupe Internationale de la Guitare” composition competition held in Paris. Since that time, he has been highly in demand for concerts in halls throughout Flanders, Brussels, Paris, and Madrid. To his credit are performances for both radio and TV. In 1961, Jan Decadt appointed Armand Coeck as a guitar instructor at the Peter Benoit Academy of Music in Harelbeke, a position he took on with great enthusiasm and creativity. In 1997, Prima la Musica premiered his Guitar Concerto in the Coutray City Theatre with soloist Carlos Bonell on guitar. The Festival of Flanders had commissioned the concerto. Thanks, in part, to CD and DVD recordings of his work by performers such as Wouter Vercruysse, Gino Herman, Simon Dinnigan, Jad Azkoul and Jan Depreter, Coeck’s oeuvre has been able to soar to new heights and be heard in many countries around the globe.