Guitar News

Nicola Montella plays Scarlatti Sonata K. 32

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:03

Nicola Montella plays Sonata L. 423 (K.32) by Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). This comes via Siccas Guitars and their great YouTube Channel and played on a 2017 Lorenzo Frignani guitar. Love the non-chord tones on the 2nd beat, such a great Baroque example and well-exploited by Montella. “The Sonata in minor, K.32/L.423/P.14 (Aria) embraces Scarlatti’s lyrical side and displays all its purity. This work is, in essence, a minuet, which Kirkpatrick finds ‘betrays Scarlatti’s Neapolitan origins in the sudden changes of major thirds to minor’.” (Naxos).

Sheet Music
I love Fabio Zanon’s 30 Scarlatti arrangements including k.32 via Amazon. Not sure what Montella is playing but he probably arranged it himself.


Categories: Guitar News

Goran Krivokapić Plays Bach – Allegro, BWV1003

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:26

Goran Krivokapić plays the Allegro from Violin Sonata No.2 (BWV1003) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This comes via PARTITA Studio in Seoul, Korea on their YouTube. Although the sound is a little bright and close it only gives you a better idea of how amazing Krivokapić’s playing really is. Crisp and exciting he seems to not want to look at his hands and internally focus on the music. He’s a big competition winner (GFA and more) and I really like this Naxos CD by him that includes the Werthmuller piece. Guitar by Choi, Moonseok.


Categories: Guitar News

Roberto Barto (Lute & Vihuela) Concert and Videos

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 10:59

The Lute Society of America’s WestFest Workshop was in Victoria this year and included a performance by the amazing Robert Barto. I have long been a huge fan of Barto, his recordings (Amazon link) of Sylvius Leopold Weiss and Bernhard Joachim Hagen being some of my favourite recordings of all time. I think so highly of these recordings that I wasn’t sure what to expect from a live performance with him on vihuela. Long story short, the concert featured stunning performances of Milan and other Italian vihuela music. With beautiful phrasing to virtuosic displays, Barto remains one of the great musicians of our time. Here’s some random videos via Daniel Shoskes’s (aka kidneykutter, he’s a Urologist) great channel on YouTube.

Categories: Guitar News

Interview with David Watkin (cellist)

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 11:25

This is such a fantastic musical discussion and so relevant to guitar. “After his masterclass, David Watkin sat down with Helen Wallace from Kings Place, London to talk about the Bach Cello suites and the masterclass itself.” The famous cellist/conductor talks about approaching the playing Bach and music in general: fingerboard harmony, experimentation with chords and fingerings, improvising harmony on the instrument, understanding how the music works and being able to convey it, historical awareness, and more. Cool discussions on terminology and philosophical or state-of-mind approaches. Via the The Masterclass Media Foundation on YouTube.

Categories: Guitar News

Lute & Voice – Dulces Exuviae (Josquin des Prez)

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 11:38

Romain Bockler (baritone) & Bor Zuljan (lute) perform an arrangement of Dulces Exuviae – Nimphes nappes by Josquin des Prez (1450/1455–1521). This comes via Zuljan’s Youtube channel. Video by the amazing Uros Baric and Marie Delorme Zuljan (audio) with lute built by Philippe Mottet Rio. Nice performance of Josquin des Prez’ motet setting of this melody. There are tons of lute arrangements of motets and other vocal works from this era. The lute players would essentially ‘cover’ the hits of the day…no YouTube in those days but they were very international and music spread across Europe quite quickly! Here’s the lyrics:

Nimphes nappes neridriades driades
venez plorer ma desolation
car ie languis en telle’ affliction
que mes espris sont plus mort que malades


Ye nymphes of the water
Nereids, and nymphs of the woods,
come and mourn my desolation
for I suffer such affliction
that my spirit is more dead than alive.

Categories: Guitar News

Brouwer Etude No. 14 and Lesson

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 12:47

Lesson of the Week for Classical Guitar 
Leo Brouwer’s Etude No. 14 from Estudios Sencillos
YouTube Video Link (4k Quality)

Sheet Music (complete etudes in one book) via amazon: Leo Brouwer Guitar Works

Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s Etude No. 14 from Estudios Sencillos. I play the study and then give a lesson on musical and guitar related ideas. This is a great etude for fixed fingers, sustain, slurs with two fingers and more (similar to Etude 13 in this regard). You can see more lesson videos at the lesson archive page or browse free sheet music. For more free weekly lessons join the Email Newsletter for updates and please consider donating to the site or sharing this post to support.


Categories: Guitar News

Q&A Lesson: Left Hand Strength & Fatigue

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 10:14

Q&A Lesson of the Week
Left Hand Strength & Fatigue on Classical Guitar
This is a Q&A via email by Alan
Youtube Video Link (4k Quality)

The question asked was how to improve strength and avoid fatigue in the left hand. My answer mainly focuses on accuracy, relaxation, and awareness. Some muting exercises are explored as well as finger, vibrato, and on-off exercises. Find more video lessons here, or check out pages for free sheet music or gear reviews. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter for pro videos, lessons, and sheet music.


Categories: Guitar News

Lesson: Right Hand Thumb Position and Movement

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:22

Gohar Vardanyan gives a lesson on right hand thumb position and movement. Brought to you by Strings By Mail and their excellent YouTube channel. This is a great lesson for beginners and review for intermediates. As she outlines, make sure to start with posture and position first because there is not much you can do if your position is off. I like the discussion on stability and not disturbing the position while playing different techniques. You can see more lesson videos at the lesson archive page. Join the Email Newsletter for updates on lessons, videos, and free sheet music.


Categories: Guitar News

Simon Farintosh Plays Rodrigo & Tedesco

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 11:00

Simon Farintosh plays Los Caprichos de Goya, op. 195 (No 12, “No Hubo Remedio”) by Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968) and Invocación y danza by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999). This comes via Simon’s YouTube Channel with video and sound production by the amazing Drew Henderson and guitar by Glenn Canin. Cool to see a former student of mine doing well, I taught Simon for about six years as a youth and teen and it’s been great seeing him mature into high level player! Congrats Simon!

Categories: Guitar News

Kaiser-Schmidt Guitar Duo Play Fauré

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:14

Kaiser-Schmidt Guitar Duo (Jessica Kaiser and Jakob Schmidt) play and arrangement of Dolly Suite op. 56 by Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924). This comes via their YouTube Channel. The Dolly Suite, Op. 56, is a collection of pieces for piano four-hands by Gabriel Fauré. Here’s the duo’s YouTube blurb: “The captivating and charming melodies of Gabriel Fauré’s  are shaped by a fragile beauty, giving the whole suite a very intimate and personal touch. In the 5th movement Tendresse, the profound simplicity that characterizes a lot of Fauré’s music is paired with a subtle chromaticism and harmonic shifts that foreshadow ahead of their time. The whole suite is available on our Debut CD, which you can order on our website.”

Categories: Guitar News

Lorenzo Micheli Plays de Murcia on Baroque Guitar

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 10:16

Italian guitarist Lorenzo Micheli plays Santiago de Murcia’s (1673-1739) “Una giga de Corelli” (Pasacalles y obras, 1732), after Arcangelo Corelli’s (1653-1713) Allegro op. 5, no. 3 on a Baroque Guitar by Stephen Murphy after Antonio Stradivari .This comes via Micheli’s great YouTube channel. I’m sure you already know Micheli from his GFA win or his work in the amazing SoloDuo. I love this, feels like the dance is continuously turning over and moving forward endlessly. Some intense dissonance 1:44!

Categories: Guitar News

Passepied by David Kellner (PDF & Lesson)

This is Classical Guitar - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 09:19

Passepied in A Major for Classical Guitar
by David Kellner (1670–1748)
Sheet Music for Classical Guitar (originally for lute).
Notation Edition & Notes + TAB Edition
Arranged by Bradford Werner
YouTube Video Link (4k Quality)

This piece is nicely placed in a set with Kellner’s Rondeau, Pastorel, and Giga.

David Kellner (1670–1748) was a German composer of the baroque period and a contemporary of Bach. He wrote a sizeable amount of compositions for the lute but also theory of music and equal temperament. His diagram of the circle of fifths is the earliest extant examples. This Passepied is charming intermediate work but has a few whacky fingerings – nothing too difficult but some passages are out of the ordinary. I’ve made a notation edition as well as a notation plus TAB version. I based my arrangement on the original lute tablature (see the PDF). Join the Email Newsletter to get updates on free sheet music and more.

Notation Edition & Notation + TAB (PDF Download): $3.99

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Categories: Guitar News

Q&A Lesson: Ornaments During Early Stages of Practice

This is Classical Guitar - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 09:15

Q&A Lesson of the Week
Ornaments During Slower and Early Stages of Learning a Piece
This is a Q&A via email
Youtube Video Link (4k Quality)

A discussion and lesson about adding ornaments during the early stages of a piece or during slower practice sessions. Ornaments and trills can occur in all sorts of dances from very fast to very slow. Depending on the context of the piece your choice of ornament and how it’s executed will depend on your tempo and a number of other considerations. My general advice is to remain flexible with ornaments as there will likely be changes depending on the speed. Therefore, stay very focused on playing the piece without ornaments but in good rhythm, pulse, and musical feel. When in doubt, practice with a metronome to make sure you are in time. Find more video lessons here, or check out pages for free sheet music or gear reviews. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter for pro videos, lessons, and sheet music.


Categories: Guitar News

Boyd Meets Girl Play Michael Jackson’s Human Nature

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:27

The amazing Boyd Meets Girl (Australian guitarist Rupert Boyd & American cellist Laura Metcalf) perform their own arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Human Nature. This recording will be featured on their debut album on the Sono Luminus label (I made a new release post about it here). Such a cool stage at the Naumburg Bandshell, in Central Park, New York. Great playing by both and a nice way to end their album filled with: Zenamon, Fauré, Bach, Edwards, Gnattali, Piazzolla, de Falla, and Pärt.

AND for fun, wait for the pause at 2:45 and then some great moves to the end. Such a good performer!

Categories: Guitar News

Stephanie Jones Plays Scherzo-Vals by Llobet

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:21

Australian guitarist Stephanie Jones plays Scherzo-Vals by Miguel Llobet (1878–1938). This comes via Siccas Guitars and their great YouTube Channel and played on a 2017 Karel Dedain guitar. Jones has been featured on the site a number of times for her excellent playing and burst of activity in Germany where she is studying. Her quick movements and rhapsodic interpretation are perfect for the Scherzo not to mention impressive. I’ve never loved this piece but seeing it performed is quite fun and exciting.

Get the sheet music in this great collection of Spanish works: The Guitar Music Of Spain, Vol.3

Categories: Guitar News

Shift and Riff by Eric Sessler

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:13

Alec Holcomb (Guitar I), Xiabo Pu (GII), Yunxiang Fan (GIII), Hao Yang (GIV) play Shift and Riff by Eric Sessler. This comes via Sessler’s YouTube Channel. The work was dedicated to David Starobin & Jason Vieaux and the guitar program of the Curtis Institute of Music. Sessler teaches composition at Curtis and Julliard and has some guitar training too. You can read about Sessler at his Curtis Institute bio page.  You might recognize his name from the work he wrote for Jason Vieaux or his various other solo and chamber works. This is a live performance in Field Hall (Curtis Institute of Music) with David Starobin conducting. Fantastic playing by these very high level students. Great piece too, very effective how the melodic material weaves in and out of the ever-forward moving texture. I wrote Sessler about the piece and he mentions, “The title comes from the the sound worlds created by the 3 sets of open strings-the music shifts (and riffs) between them and uses this idea to create dialogue and creative interplay between the quartet.”


Categories: Guitar News

Laura Snowden Plays Catalan Peasant by Anderson

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 13:00

English guitarist Laura Snowden plays Catalan Peasant With Guitar by Julian Anderson (b.1967). This is part of New Music for Guitar produced by GuitarCoop in association with Julian Bream Trust. Curated by Fabio Zanon and Produced by Stephen Goss. This comes via their great YouTube Channel. Cool piece and well played by Snowden. I like the intensity of the opening, plodding melodic section that follows, and the exacting shots throughout.

Score at Sheet Music Plus: Catalan Peasant With Guitar by Anderson (Schott)


Categories: Guitar News

Q&A Lesson: Left Hand Thumb Position

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 22:19

Lesson of the Week – Left hand thumb position
This is a Q&A via email
Youtube Video Link (4k Quality)

A discussion and lesson about the left hand thumb position for classical guitar. This is a question from Paul who wanted to know about the left hand thumb position while playing scales. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. Find more video lessons here, or check out pages for free sheet music or gear reviews. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter for pro videos, lessons, and sheet music.

Here’s the original question: “I would like to know how the left hand thumb performs on the back of the neck of the guitar while playing scales.  Does it traverse across the neck while fingers maintain their same curvature or is it static while the fingers curl more tightly & the wrist drops more so as to remain straight? All lessons that I can find only show the fingers in action from a front perspective. ”


Categories: Guitar News