John Dowland – Praeludium 98

A short piece originally for Lute by John Dowland (1562 – 1626).

Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez. Ricardo Gallén

The Concierto de Aranjuez was inspired by the gardens at Palacio Real de Aranjuez, the spring resort palace and gardens built by Philip II in the last half of the 16th century and rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century by Ferdinand VI. The work attempts to transport the listener to another place and time through the evocation of the sounds of nature.

According to the composer, the first movement is “animated by a rhythmic spirit and vigour without either of the two themes… interrupting its relentless pace”; the second movement “represents a dialogue between guitar and solo instruments (cor anglais, bassoon,oboe, horn etc.)”; and the last movement “recalls a courtly dance in which the combination of double and triple time maintains a taut tempo right to the closing bar.” He described the concerto itself as capturing “the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains” in the gardens of Aranjuez.

Rodrigo and his wife Victoria stayed silent for many years about the inspiration for the second movement, and thus the popular belief grew that it was inspired by the bombing of Guernica in 1937. In her autobiography, Victoria eventually declared that it was both an evocation of the happy days of their honeymoon and a response to Rodrigo’s devastation at the miscarriage of their first pregnancy. It was composed in 1939 in Paris.

Ricardo Gallén is a distinguished guitarist and teacher as his  inspiring and innovative interpretation of this masterpiece makes clear.


Johan Fostier plays Estilo Pampeano by Abel Fleury

Abel Fleury (1903-1958) was an Argentinian composer and guitarist. Johan Fostier offers a wonderful performance of one of Fluery’s most popular pieces, “Estilo Pampeano” (Pampeano Style).

Michael Kolk Plays Lágrima by Tárrega

It’s a classic in guitar repertoire by Spanish composer Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909. This well shot video and Canadian guitarist, Michael Kolk brings it to life once again.

Yolanda Kondonassis and Jason Vieaux

I’m looking forward to the release on January 27th of a new CD from internationally acclaimed solo artists Yolanda Kondonassis and Jason Vieaux entitled “Together.”  These superb musicians join forces to showcase the rich colors and unique repertoire for harp and guitar.

Their diverse expressive capabilities and intimate sonorities suggest that they are interchangeable parts of one whole . . . it was difficult to hear where one instrument ends and the other begins – the mystical effect of one great intangible apparent throughout the program: the intuitive synchronicity of Kondonassis and Vieaux.

– The Buffalo News

Read and interview about this CD here.

The Famous Weiss – David Miller, Baroque Lute

I’m very excited to read of a new CD by David Miller entitled, “The Famous Weiss,” Miller is a superb Lutenist from the United Kingdom who performs and records with all the principal English period instrument orchestras and with many of the finest ensembles, appearing at numerous prestigious European music festivals. Of Particular interest to me is the inclusion of the Weiss Sonata 5 in D-minor which I have been learning from a transcription by Michael Lorimer for guitar in E minor.  It’s not available until February in the U.S., so this short video introduction will have to do. See my portfolio page for the movements I have been working on with guitarist and master teacher, Jason Vieaux.

Now available in the USA on iTunes.


Gary Ryan Plays Benga Beat

Gary Ryan demonstrates his significant percussive technique. Worth watching the full 8 minute video. He discusses the composition at 7:40. I’m really enjoying these videos coming from journalist Guy Travis.

Taking Notes: Gary Ryan and Manus Noble

Lloyd Coleman is joined by renowned guitarist Gary Ryan and his former student Manus Noble, plus Khymerikal perform Sideshows by Leo Geyer.

00:50 Manus performs | 07:51 Leo Geyer | 21:30 Gary and Manus interview | 30:12 Gary performs

Andrés Segovia – “Dreaming With Music”

“It is not really listening to music, but better, it is dreaming with music.” Andrés Segovia (1893 – 1987).

El Testament D’Amelia – Arr. Miguel Llobet

Spanish composer and arranger Miguel Llobet is regarded as one of Francisco Tárrega’s finest pupils. He is perhaps best known for his sophisticated arrangements of Catalan folk music. Like many of the notable Spanish composers of his day, Llobet was greatly inspired by flamenco music and the folksongs of Spain. “El Testament d’Amelia” is one of seven Catalan folksongs that he adapted as solo guitar pieces.