Les Deux Amis
Plays FOCUS Classics - 1985

Les Deux Amis Plays FOCUS Classics

Tracks:

  1. Love Remembered
  2. Sylvia
  3. Focus III (include P.S. March)
  4. No Hangs Ups
  5. Anonymous (include Answer, Orfeus, Euridice, House of King, Tommy)
  6. Focus V
  7. Soft Vanilla
  8. Le Clochard (Bread) *
  9. Focus IV (include Janis)
  10. La Cathedrale De Strasbourg (include Focus I)
  11. Focus II
  12. Elsepth Of Nottinghm *
  13. Bennie Helder
  14. Brother
  15. Happy Nightmare (variations by Ansgar Krause)

"Les Deux Amis" are Ansgar Krause and Thomas Müller-Pering
All Songs arranged by Ansgar Krause except * arranged by Thomas Müller-Pering

Recorded in March 1985 at "SchloB Nordkirchen"
Produced by Udo Kamjunke for Purple Eye Productions B.V.
Engineers: Reimund Grimm, Werner Dabringhaus
Guitars by A. Marin/Y. Imai
Cover Design: Herman Rohr, Peter Peters
Photos: Wolfgang F. Meyer
Special Thanks to Hubert Terheggen, John Brands and Willen Hoppenbrouwers
All titles published by Radio Music Nederland b.v.
Mastered by Ron McMaster at EMI America Records


How well done to our songs!
When we first heard our two friends playing FOCUS we were touched by this discovery. No superlatives are good enough to describe their virtuosity, their musicianship and their arrangements. It sounds so easy but we know what hard labor went into these microphones. We are extremely proud that they have chosen our songs wich more than tem years ago were able to move millions of people around the world. This digital recording will get a place of honor in our homes.

Thijs van Leer / Jan Akkerman


Liner notes:

Ansgar Krause (born in 1956) and Thomas Müller-Pering (born in 1958) both studies classical guitar with professor Tadashi Sasaki at the Academies of Cologne and Aachen. Since 1977 they have been playing together as the duo LES DEUS AMIS (The Two Friends). LES DEUX AMIS is the title of a composition by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) which he dedicated to his friend Dionisio Aguado. Now, Ansgar and Thomas are themselves music teachers at the Academies of Cologne and Aachen. The two guitar virtuosi are musically versatile. They not only form a successful duo, but also play as soloists with orchestras, accompany singers, and contribute to the classical guitar repertoire with adaptations of music from a wide variety of sources.

There is virtually no other instrument in Western culture that poses so many difficulties for the composer as the guitar, particularly when the composer does not play the instrument himself. The idiom of the fingering and the application of touch give too many possibilities, and there is an enormous potential for using the wide variety of flageolet tones and an extensive tonal pallets as a means of expression. Consequently, until the beginning of the 20th century only guitar players composed directly for the instrument or transcribe works written for other instruments to the guitar.

In the 16th century these were mainly compositions for voice played on the lute (the Vihuela). In the 17th and 18th centuries it was the Dances and Suites, and in the 19th century many compositions for piano, In other words, the guitarists of those days adapted the music of their time. From the beginning of our cooperation in 1977 we have followed a similar path, selecting for our programme numerous self-panned adaptations of compositions by the Spanish romantics and early impressionistic composers such as Isaac Albéniz, Claude Debussy and Johannes Brahms.

We have, however, long been excited by the ideas of the Dutch group FOCUS wich has succeedeed in creating a symbiosis of classical and rock music. Ansgar Krause's adaptations prove the vagueness of the borderline between so-called U and non-U music. This is partly due to the fact that Krause makes use of the opportunities offered by polyphony and harmony (imitation, canon, repetition of themes, augmentation, etc.) created some 500 years ago in the Low Countries and further developed in the so-called Franco-Flemish School.

FOCUS has always fallen back on the use of classical or Renaissance themes and forms for their compositions. This gave us the idea of re-adapting their works back into classical guitar music. This musical encounterof various eras and styles, reaches its high point in the "Variations on Happy Nightmare". This amusing title encouraged us to include in our arrangemnt the well known Bourréé in E-Flat of perhaps the greatest composer of all time: Joham Sebastian Bach. We did this during the recording session which happened to coincide with the 300th anniversary of Bach's birthday, 21 March 1985. So FOCUS REMEMBERED is also a tribute to the great composers and to their world of sound, and for whom every living composer feels gratitude.

Liner notes and picture kindly sent by Alex Saba.


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