Sunday, December 28, 2008

guitar pieces working on now

Classical guitar, what a wonderful instrument! Right now I am especially enjoying playing pieces written specifically for the guitar (as opposed to transcriptions). We can thank Andres Segovia for encouraging, in the first half of the 20th century, many excellent composers to write for the instrument: Villa Lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mompou, Tansman, Turina, Torroba, Ponce, and many others. Julian Bream has also induced many to write for guitar.

In recent years, as a huge flood of young virtuosos has emerged, and correspondingly, many new, some more avant garde, compositions have followed.

Of course, transcriptions of J. S. Bach's lute, cello, and violin suites work perfectly on the guitar. Much, though not all, of the baroque and Renaissance lute and baroque guitar pieces are beautiful when played with understanding on the modern classical guitar. I plan to aways play as much of this repertoire as I can.

A considerable number of the Sylvius Leopold Weiss baroque lute pieces work pretty well too (although the majority of his works seem to rely on the particular sonority as well as the tuning of the baroque lute that Weiss played...they can sound labored on the guitar).

Examples of pieces (originally composed for the guitar) that I have been working on are the following:

Torroba: Castles of Spain, Notturno
Turina: Hommage to Tarrega (Garotin and Soleares)
Rodrigo: En Los Trigales
Mompou: Suite Compostellana (Preludio and Cancion)
Myers: Cavatina
Powell: Valse sem nomme
Tansman: Canzonetta (from the Suite in Modo Polonico)
Villa Lobos: Etudes 5 and 8