Anyone interested in Classical Guitar Music?

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parla's picture
Anyone interested in Classical Guitar Music?

After a good period of time as a member of this forum, I have noticed that the issue of the Classical Guitar repertory, composers and major performers has never been touched upon, even superficially.

It is surprising that, nowadays, the instrument has only a specialised audience and exclusive fans, while the instrument has a quite long and bright history. Apart from some very notable composers, who had a special interest for the instrument, like Schubert, Boccherini, Paganini etc., there are plenty of great composers devoted their on the development and glorification of the Guitar, like the superb Sor, the ingenious Giuliani or the magnificent Tarrega. Performers too, like J. Bream, P. Romero, J. Williams or C. Parkening. There is also a great deal of transcriptions, demonstrating the importance and the immense possibilities of the instrument. Bach's famous Chaconne sounds amazingly beautiful and utterly convincing on the said instrument, by the way.

The Guitar repertory and composers are alive and well even in the 20th century with works by E. Carter, Berio, Ohana, Krenek, Gnattali or Donatoni.

I really wonder whether there is any forum member who is truly interested in this wonderful, charming instrument and its refined, elegant and rewarding music.

Any contribution, question, debate is welcome.



Martin Cullingford
Martin Cullingford's picture
RE: Anyone interested in Classical Guitar Music?

Hello all,

While I couldn't answer how many forum members share Parla's enthusiasm for the classical guitar, Gramophone has an editor who most certainly does. When I put Miloš Karadaglić on the cover of our June issue - which offered several guitar-related features, including an interview with this most talented of young ambassadors for the instrument and its repetoire - it was the first time a guitarist had graced the cover of Gramophone in a rather long time.

It's long frustrated me that classical guitar is invariably seen as specialist or, more unhelpfully still, niche. That the great classical composers (by which I mean those widely held to be in the classical canon) didn't write for it doubtless plays a role. As, too, does the fact that those who were great guitar composers often didn't write for more mainstream instruments (which is the rest of the repertoire's loss of course!). Thankfully, as pointed out elsewhere in this thread, things began to change in the 20th century, firstly through Segovia's tireless championing of the guitar as a concert hall instrument, then the commissioning of contemporary composers by such wonderful musicians as Julian Bream.

I do agree about transcriptions (ironically, of course, which includes some of the most famous 'guitar pieces', those by Albeniz), and have too always found the Bach Chaconne particularly profound on guitar, drawing as it does on its particuarly soulful sound. To put it in simple terms, I also find the space between notes from a plucked instrument adds something quite beautiful, which holds true for many guitar transcriptions of violin and cello pieces. Do hear David Russell's recording of the Chaconne if you can.

I hope this thread continues, and if I may add a couple of favourite recordings myself (aside from Russell in Bach, as already mentioned), I'd suggest William Carter's recording of the music of Santiago de Murcia - La Guitarra Española (Linn CKD 288) and, for contrast, the box-set of Segovia's American Decca Recordings, Vol 1, to enjoy the great player's distinctly powerful, soulful sound in repertoire most associated with him.

Editor, Gramophone

akkuikku's picture
RE: Anyone interested in Classical Guitar Music?

I am really a fan of classical guitar music. i am learning some too. It is so wonderful to play it or hear the classical guitar sound at night. And I have listened to the guitar versions of the famous masterpieces in pianos. And I felt it was very awesome.
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