Guitar News

Anabel Montesinos Plays Preludio in E Major by Ponce

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 11/27/2023 - 13:40

Spanish guitarist Anabel Montesinos performs Preludio in E Major by Manuel Ponce (1882-1948). This comes via Altamira Guitars and their YouTube channel. You can also see Montesinos’ full concert on YouTube. This work was inspired by Baroque music, Bach and Weiss in particular with a whole story of false attribution in connection with Segovia’s performances and commissioning of the work. Great performance by Montesinos with crisp articulations and rhythmic momentum.

This work also has a version for guitar and harpsichord as heard below by Adam Holzman and Stephanie Martin.

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Categories: Guitar News

Antonio Rugolo Plays Studio No. 6 (Goya) by Gilardino

This is Classical Guitar - Sat, 11/25/2023 - 13:31

Antonio Rugolo performs Studio No. 6 – Soledad (Omaggio a Francisco Goya) from Studi di virtuosità e di trascendenza by Angelo Gilardino (B. 1941). This comes via his YouTube channel. This is one of my favourite studies from Angelo Gilardino‘s Studi di virtuosità e di trascendenza. Although the compositional style is very pattern oriented and guitaristic, the etudes are filled with a huge wealth of musical ideas, textures, and techniques. Each one has a dedication and resembles the style of the dedicatee in some way. Great performance by Rugolo with lots of subtle and sweetly phrased lines as well as meditative pacing.

Just out of interest, I played this piece around 10 years ago (see below YouTube video) so it’s great to hear it again.

The post Antonio Rugolo Plays Studio No. 6 (Goya) by Gilardino first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Categories: Guitar News

Exploring the Fretboard No.58-59: Comparing Intervals to the 5th in C Major

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 11/23/2023 - 11:31

Exploring the Fretboard No.58-59: Comparing Intervals to the 5th in C Major, and C Octaves on Classical Guitar from my book Exploring the Fretboard: 100 Exercises for Intermediate Guitar. PDF sheet music with notation, left hand fingering, and video lessons. This book offers students a set amount of ordered material and a variety of ways to investigate the fretboard. It has been designed as an exploratory primer before further and more comprehensive study.

Remember to say the note names out loud. Practice only one exercise at a time for 2-3 minutes a day. Repeat the exercise for a few days even if you can play it first try.

Here is the YouTube link if you want to watch it there.

The post Exploring the Fretboard No.58-59: Comparing Intervals to the 5th in C Major first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Categories: Guitar News

Jonatan Bougt Theorbo Recital

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 11/21/2023 - 18:10

Swedish guitarist and theorbist Jonatan Bougt gives a full theorbo recital in London at the Dutch Church. This comes via The Lute Society and their YouTube channel. I’m really enjoying these concerts from the Lute Society that include such great repertoire, performances, and the performer speaking to the audience. Wonderful playing by Bougt with some of the works having such beautifully calm pacing yet still so much forward momentum. Magic!

Programme

  • Robert de Visée (1655-1732/33)
    • Prelude in G
  • François Couperin (1668-1733)
    • Les Sylvains (arr. de Visée)
  • Robert de Visée
    • Suite in E minor: Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande – Gigue & Double – Gavotte – Rondeau ‘La Montfermeil’
  • Robert de Visée
    • La Plainte, ou Tombeau de Mesdemouselles de Visée
  • Girolamo Hironynous Kapsberger (c.1580-1651)
    • Toccata 1 from Libro Quarto d’Intavolatura di Chitarrone
  • Gustaf Düben (1620s-1690)
    • Suite from Odæ Sveticæ (arr. Bougt): I. Tröstesång II. En naturlig dödsbetraktelse III. Till en ung självklok/Den unge självklokes svar IV. Dygd är alltings rätta bruk V. Kärlekspris/Äktaståndspris VI. Aftonsång
  • Robert de Visée
    • Chaconne in G major
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Categories: Guitar News

Estudio in E Minor by Tarrega (Free PDF)

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 11/19/2023 - 16:29

Estudio in E Minor by Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909). Free PDF Sheet Music for Classical Guitar. Comes with both a notation edition with left hand fingering and a separate tab edition. The approximate level is early-intermediate (Grade 4). This is PDF Download.

Here’s a free sheet music edition of one of Francisco Tárrega’s (1852–1909) early-intermediate etudes or studies (estudios). With a beautiful melody this is a great work for classical guitarists around the intermediate level. This is generally straightforward except for some barrés and some upper position playing. I also include it in my grade 4 lessons book as an introduction for full barres. Make sure to shape the upper voice melody that is embedded into the arpeggios. Here’s the YouTube Link if you want to watch it there.

Free Sheet Music Edition (PDF)

Or in My Grade 4 Repertoire Lessons Book

SamplesMore Video Lessons

This piece is available as an individual selection or in my grade 4 book (see below).

Lesson from my Grade 4 book: Estudio in E Minor by Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909). YouTube Video Lesson Link. A nice melody with a full arpeggio accompaniment. This piece explores and develops barre technique and is a good preparation for Lagrima by Tarrega which will be the next piece. I give a lesson on playing the melody on its own and three ways to practice the barre. It is a good idea to approach tricky barre passages in a variety of ways: Pause and Prepare, Shape Recognition, and Destination Points.

Here’s a past video for the individual edition. Youtube Video Performance & Lesson.

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Categories: Guitar News

Emotional Expression Etudes by Daisuke Terauchi

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 15:45

Tsunehito Tsuchihashi and Gaku Yamada perform Emotional Expression Etudes by Daisuke Terauchi (b.1974). This comes via Gaku Yamada’s YouTube. I know this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but what an interesting and diverse set of works. Great performance here with lots of precision and, well, expression. Excellent guitar writing and playing later on as well, reminds me of some old John Weinzweig pieces my trio used to play.

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Categories: Guitar News

A Lesson on Practicing Slowly (For Atharv)

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 12:17

A lesson on practicing slowly for Atharv who is an 8 year old classical guitar student from Victoria studying with my good friend Natasha Pashchenko who is an excellent teacher. The main points in this lesson are to trust your teacher, understand the difference between practice and play, and to practice at a variety of slow tempos. Let your teacher guide you on how fast to practice. Another important factor, especially for youth students to understand, is:

Pros focus on playing at a high quality level and never practice faster than they can play well.

If you want, you can break your slow practice into three ways:

  • Ultra Slow – Play so slowly that you can focus on playing each note like a pro. The goal is to play each note at the highest quality level you can. You can make each note sound nice and full, check your technique and positions, and build confidence.
  • Slow – This tempo allows for more focus on small grouping of notes played in a legato way.
  • Medium Slow – This tempo should still be slow but with just enough push to form phrases (larger groups of legato notes with musical shaping and direction).

The main point is that you can practice at a variety of tempos to keep things interesting and each tempo allows you to focus on different aspects of your playing.

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Categories: Guitar News

Drew Henderson Plays Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001 by Bach

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 16:22

Canadian guitarist Drew Henderson performs Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), originally for unaccompanied violin. This comes via Henderson’s YouTube channel. Wonderful performance by Henderson with excellent pacing and some very crisp and clear ornaments throughout. One of the best performances of the fugue I’ve heard, balanced and calm but always pushing forward. He mentioned that he’ll have a sheet music edition coming out soon which we can look forward to.

Video Times

  • 0:00 Adagio
  • 3:35 Fuga
  • 8:23 Siciliana
  • 11:29 Presto

Below is his comments from his video description:

I’ve gone through a bit of a change in philosophy when it comes to arranging Bach on the guitar, and that is to only add notes when I feel the translation to guitar is lacking. Having said that, this arrangement is fairly true to the original, except when it was irresistible I added the low 7th string to fill out the range.

For those with a keen ear, you will notice this is actually in f# minor, which in Baroque tuning is actually G minor! In reality though, I feel the capo on fret 2 with the low C# on the 7th sounded best on this guitar.

Special thanks to Mark Usherovich for building this very versatile guitar. I love all colours on this spruce and maple guitar (just like a violin). The possibilities for arranging Bach are vast on this instrument, and you’ll be sure to see more. Also thanks to Alex Bougie and Ricci Ebron for assisting in the filming. It’s very hard to film oneself, I couldn’t have done it without them!

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Categories: Guitar News

Exploring the Fretboard No.57: Six Ways to Play C Major from 1st to 5th Position

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 11/12/2023 - 13:12

Exploring the Fretboard No.57: Six Ways to Play C Major from 1st to 5th Position on Classical Guitar from my book Exploring the Fretboard: 100 Exercises for Intermediate Guitar. PDF sheet music with notation, left hand fingering, and video lessons. This book offers students a set amount of ordered material and a variety of ways to investigate the fretboard. It has been designed as an exploratory primer before further and more comprehensive study.

Remember to say the note names out loud. Practice only one exercise at a time for 2-3 minutes a day. Repeat the exercise for a few days even if you can play it first try.

Here is the YouTube link if you want to watch it there.

The post Exploring the Fretboard No.57: Six Ways to Play C Major from 1st to 5th Position first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Categories: Guitar News

Honey Cadence: Six Meditations for Guitar by Aaron Larget-Caplan

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 11/09/2023 - 12:45

Honey Cadence: Six Meditations for Guitar 
By Aaron Larget-Caplan

Sheet Music Purchase: Autographed copies at Aaron’s Bandcamp. Physical or pdf sales at the American Composers Alliance. Or see more of his offerings at Aaron’s Store.

Liston to the Composer’s Recording: Listen on Aaron’s Spotify or see more album options at his Store. The album honey cadence has earned over 3 million streams since its release in April 2022.

Big thanks to Aaron Larget-Caplan for sending me his wonderful new collection of solo works for guitar. These are beautiful compositions suitable for professionals and intermediate students alike. They are decidedly modern in language and form but also very accessible to general listeners. Each composition exploits the instrument in a unique and best of ways, hitting the sweet spots and using modern techniques without overreaching. Honey Cadence fills an important gap in terms of composition in the classical guitar repertoire. They are mature musical works but the level is intermediate depending on your tempos and expected refinement.

I enjoyed these so much I decided to record a video of the work Honey Cadence with Aaron’s permission. You can also view it on my YouTube. Be sure to also listen to the composer’s recording, links above.

Coming Today

Composer’s Note:

At the end of 2021, I began composing the music that became the six pensive solos of honey cadence, issued on Tiger Turn, and the first of my compositions to be recorded and published.

I began by sketching melodies and gestures that were floating in my head with the intent of creating an album of meditative intimacy, which though on the quiet side, would be able to keep the listener’s attention.

I explored through improvisations that highlighted my favorite qualities of the guitar: tone and timbral variation, note doubling, harmonics, pitch bends, and percussion.

Influenced by John Cage, Agustín Barrios, bits of Bach and Villa-Lobos, and many New Lullaby Project composers, with nods to Ravel and even the band, Queen, I tried not to get in the way. The latter two weren’t necessarily conscious, but I can’t not hear them now.

Each title has a connection to music, as well as general language, i.e., ‘anticipation’ is a musical ornament and linguistically expresses expectation or prediction.

May the music add some sweetness to your life.

via American Composers Alliance

Contains the following 6 works of Larget-Caplan:

  • sweet nuance
  • honey cadence
  • moving still
  • minding play
  • hidden anticipation
  • slight nuance

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Categories: Guitar News

Michal Gondko Lute Recital

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 11/06/2023 - 12:57

A one hour Lute Society Main Recital by lutenist Michal Gondko held in London, The Dutch Church. A full recital of Polonica Lute Music from around 1600. This comes via The Lute Society and their YouTube channel. Wonderful performance and talks on the repertoire. I love thematically connected concerts giving you taste of a specific genre or style. Enjoy!

Programme

  • 6 Balletti Polachi from D-Bs MS Danzig 4022
  • A Pollish Vinlanell by Tobias Hume (c.1579-1645)
  • A Pollish Ayre by Tobias Hume (c.1579-1645)
  • Fantasia by Ambrosious Albertus Dlugoraj (1557/8- after? 1619)
  • Passamezzo Extended by Michal Gondko by Diomedes Cato (1555-1628)
  • Praeludium by Diomedes Cato (1555-1628)
  • Galliarda by Diomedes Cato (1555-1628)
  • 3 Polnische Tantze by Mattaus Waissel (c. 1535/40- 1602)
  • Fantasia by Benedictus de Drusina (fl. 1556-73)
  • Tantum ergo sacramentum, taniecz z tego by UKR-LVu 1400/I, aka Krakov Lute Tablature
  • Praeambulum by Casparius Sieleczky (c. 1570-?)
  • Villanella polonica – From D-LEm MS II.6.15, formerly known as Villanella A(alberti) D(lugorai) from the Dlugoraij Lute Book
  • Chorea eiusdem nationis (= polonica)
  • Chorea polonica eisudem Authrois (=AD)
  • Cantio polonica
  • Volte A (ambrosii) A(lberti) D(lugorai)
  • Fantasia AD reconstructed by M. Gondko
  • Chorea polonica
  • Chorea polonica AD
  • Toccata From PL-Kj Mus. ms. 40153, aka Dusiacki MS
  • Potorae Konigin in Polen Tantz From CH-BuF IX 70, aka Wurstisen MS
  • Fantasia by Jacob Reys dit Polonois (c 1550-1605)
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Categories: Guitar News

Exploring the Fretboard No.54-56: C Major to the 5th and Scales

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 11/01/2023 - 13:23

Exploring the Fretboard No.54-56: C Major to the 5th and Scales in Various Positions from my book Exploring the Fretboard: 100 Exercises for Intermediate Guitar. PDF sheet music with notation, left hand fingering, and video lessons. This book offers students a set amount of ordered material and a variety of ways to investigate the fretboard. It has been designed as an exploratory primer before further and more comprehensive study.

Remember to say the note names out loud. Practice only one exercise at a time for 2-3 minutes a day. Repeat the exercise for a few days even if you can play it first try.

Video Times

  • 0:00 – Intro and Advice
  • 1:48 – Exercise No.54, C Major to the 5th
  • 3:10 – Exercise No.55, C Major to the 5th (Upper)
  • 5:38 – Exercise No.56, C Major Scale One Octave

Here is the YouTube link if you want to watch it there.

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Categories: Guitar News

Patrik Kleemola Plays Sor

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 10/30/2023 - 12:23

Finnish guitarist Patrik Kleemola performs a concert of 13 guitar miniatures, a Soirée by Fernando Sor (1778 – 1839) played on an original René Lacote from 1839. This comes via Kleemola’s YouTube channel. Beautiful performances by Kleemola on a period guitar featuring a number of excellent works accessible to students and pros alike. As he mentions:

These pieces were published in Paris during the last period of Sor in the French capital (1827-1839). As an encore, the program finishes with Leçon Op. 60 No. 25 which is the very last piece for solo guitar Sor ever published.

Fernando Sor and René Lacote both lived in Paris during the first decades of the 19th century, the former being the most celebrated guitarist while the latter was considered as the most valued luthier of the period. In the Methodé pour la guitare (1830) Sor favours Lacote over other luthiers in Paris at the time. During the last years of Sor’s life the guitarist lived just about 600 metres from the Lacote’s workshop which located at the Rue de Louvois in Paris. Sor surely was a regular visitor at the workshop.

The guitar heard in the video, now in my personal collection, is one of the very few surviving instruments by Lacote that has survived in its fully original condition, now for nearly 200 years. Dr. James Westbrook, a leading expert on the history of 19th century guitar making, has described this instrument as “a very special guitar, one of Lacote’s finest”. In 1839, the year Lacote build this instrument, Fernando Sor died in Paris. “Soirée Sor” celebrates the friendship of these two masters.

Kleemola’s YouTube

Programme

  • 00:00 Andantino Op. 32, No. 1 (Six Petites Pièces Faciles Op. 32)
  • 01:55 Valse Op. 44, No. 24 (24 petits Pièces Progressives Op. 44)
  • 03:27 Exercice Op. 35, No. 22 (24 Exercices très Faciles, Op. 35)
  • 05:12 Minuetto (Vivace) Op. 36, No. 2 (Trois Pièces de Société, Op. 36)
  • 08:08 Andantino Op. 45, No. 1 (Voyons si c’est ça.Six Petites Pièces Op.45)
  • 09:53 Exercice Op. 35, No. 19 (24 Exercices très Faciles, Op. 35)
  • 11:00 Andante Op. 45, No. 5 (Voyons si c’est ça. Six Petites Pièces Op. 45)
  • 15:03 Exercice Op. 35, No. 7 (24 Exercices très Faciles, Op. 35)
  • 16:45 Exercice Op. 35, No. 9 (24 Exercices très Faciles, Op. 35)
  • 18:29 Andante Op. 44, No. 16 (24 petits Pièces Progressives Op. 44)
  • 19:43 Leçon Op. 31, No. 18 (24 Leçons Progressives, Op. 31)
  • 21:05 Étude Op. 29, No. 24 (12 Études Op. 29)
  • 24:53 Leçon Op. 60, No. 25 (Introduction à l’Étude de la Guitare, Op. 60)
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Categories: Guitar News

Thu Le Plays Loi Lo Blend by Assad

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 10/25/2023 - 15:38

Thu Le performs Loi Lo Blend by Sergio Assad (b.1952) on classical guitar. This comes via Knobloch Strings and their YouTube channel. Amazing performance by Thu Le with impressive clarity to the intricate lines and an infectious rhythmic delivery. Great blending of musical styles by Assad. As Knobloch mentions on their YouTube: “Loi Lo Blend is the piece dedicated to Thu Le by Sergio Assad for the series The Woman and the Guitar. An ingenious composition that starts with a traditional Vietnamese tune and ends up blending with Brazilian rhythms.”

The post Thu Le Plays Loi Lo Blend by Assad first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Categories: Guitar News

Fortunato & Perciballi Play Bagatelle by Ida Presti

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 10/24/2023 - 09:48

Salvatore Fortunato & Fabio Perciballi perform Bagatelle by Ida Presti (1924-1967). This comes via Siccas Guitars media program and their YouTube channel. Great performance of this exciting duo with excellent motivic attention and fun articulation throughout. They also have a recording of this work on their Complete Works for Two Guitars by Ida Presti via Brilliant Classics. Below is a small excerpt from their writeup:

At the age of nine, Presti began studying at the Paris Conservatoire, where she was exposed to a rich musical education and had the opportunity to collaborate with other talented musicians. It was during this period that she formed a lifelong partnership, both musically and romantically, with fellow guitarist and student Alexandre Lagoya, which resulted in numerous collaborations and recordings that are still revered today. The duo’s extraordinary synergy and technical mastery elevated the guitar duo to new heights, earning them a prominent place in the classical music world. Tragically, Ida Presti’s life was cut short at the age of 43 when she suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage in April 1967. Her untimely death left a void in the world of classical guitar and robbed the music community of a true virtuoso. However, her legacy lives on through her recordings, compositions and the inspiration she continues to provide to aspiring guitarists.

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Categories: Guitar News

Study No.14, Op.60 by Fernando Sor

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 10/22/2023 - 16:47

Performance and Lesson for Study No.14 in E Minor, Op.60 by Fernando Sor (1778–1839). This is from my PDF or hardcopy sheet music or tab edition for classical guitar: 25 Progressive Studies, Op.60 by Fernando Sor.

Fernando Sor’s Op.60 is one of the most famous etude collections in the classical guitar repertoire. Each study covers a different pedagogical concept but the primary goal of the collection as a whole is the ability to play legato across various textures.

Although more difficult than Study 10-13, I would still place this study around the grade 4 level depending on your tempo. Here’s the YouTube Link for this lesson if you want to watch it there.

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Categories: Guitar News

Exploring the Fretboard No.45-53: Comparative Unison Passages and Orientation

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 10/20/2023 - 09:56

Exploring the Fretboard No.45-53: Comparative unison passages and orientation to unison notes across the fretboard from my book Exploring the Fretboard: 100 Exercises for Intermediate Guitar. PDF sheet music with notation, left hand fingering, and video lessons. This book offers students a set amount of ordered material and a variety of ways to investigate the fretboard. It has been designed as an exploratory primer before further and more comprehensive study.

Remember to say the note names out loud. Practice only one exercise at a time for 2-3 minutes a day. Repeat the exercise for a few days even if you can play it first try.

Video Times

  • 0:00 – Intro and Advice
  • 2:30 – Why are the exercises so short?
  • 2:50 – Exercise No.45, Orientation to E
  • 4:14 – Exercise No.46, Orientation to E (Lower)
  • 5:37 – Exercise No.47, Orientation to B
  • 6:29 – Exercise No.48, Orientation to B (Lower)
  • 7:19 – Exercise No.49, Orientation to G
  • 8:11 – Exercise No.50, Orientation to D
  • 9:12 – Exercise No.51, Orientation to D (Upper)
  • 10:22 – Exercise No.52, Orientation to A
  • 11:12 – Exercise No.53, Orientation to A (Upper)
  • 11:40 – Final Words and Advice

Here is the YouTube link if you want to watch it there.

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Categories: Guitar News

Open Q&A Part 3 – Technique and Articulation

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 10/15/2023 - 13:31

Q&A Part 3 of 3: Technique & Articulation Questions for Classical Guitar. Thanks to all my Patreon supporters who submitted questions. You can visit my Support Page if you enjoy these and want to help out. Here’s the YouTube link if you want to watch the video there.

I held an open-ended Q&A on Patreon and so many questions that I’ll be making three videos to answer them all. The first video is general questions. The second video will be on practicing and improvement. The third video will be on technique and articulation.

Question & Answer Times

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 0:36 – Sitting Position Routine
  • 5:00 – Rest Stroke vs Free Stroke Speed
  • 7:32 – Speeding Up Tremolo and Arpeggios
  • 12:10 – Right Hand Balance
  • 14:49 – Rests and Muting
  • 18:30 – Right Hand Pinky Use
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Categories: Guitar News

Ariel Abramovich Plays Ricercars by Francesco da Milano

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 10/12/2023 - 13:10

Ariel Abramovich performs three Ricercars (or Fantasias) by Italian Renaissance lute composer Francesco Canova da Milano (1497–1543) on vihuela de mano. This comes via Edoardo Lambertenghi’s great YouTube channel. Excellent performance by Abramovich with a lovely rhythmic feel and motivic attention. I love the imitative works of Francesco da Milano but rarely have heard them on vihuela as opposed to Renaissance lute. Charm and compositional creativity fill these wonderful works.

  • 0:00 Ricercar 84
  • 1:14 Ricercar 81
  • 2:10 Ricercar 16

By the way, I have an free edition and video of number 16 here.

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Categories: Guitar News

Bacchanale for Two Prepared Guitars by John Cage (arr. Aaron Larget-Caplan)

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 10/11/2023 - 12:56

Bacchanale for two prepared guitars by John Cage (1912-1992)
Arranged by Aaron Larget-Caplan
Published by Edition Peters

Score and recording info or purchase at Aaron Larget-Caplan’s Store.

Big thanks to Aaron Larget-Caplan for sending me his arrangement of John Cage’s Bacchanale for two prepared guitars published by Edition Peters. This is an excellent arrangement filled with rigourous rhythmic schemes and the prepared aspect transfers to guitars quite well due to the somewhat different soundscape. It recently won a Paul Revere Award from the Music Publishers Association of the United States. Above is a video of the work via Larget-Caplan’s YouTube or see his John Cage album for a recording of this work as well as other Cage arrangements via his store. Here’s an excerpt about Bacchanale from his press release:

Originally a solo work for prepared piano written in 1948 for trendsetting dancer and choreographer Syvilla Fort, Bacchanale requires the performer to “prepare” the piano. Fort asked Cage for a work for percussion ensemble, but there was not enough room on stage, so Cage experimented by putting items in the piano itself like screws, bults, washers and insulation. Bacchanale is the first of his works to do such preparations, and he would go to win a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters for his invention of the prepared piano.

For a bit more context on this piece here’s some info via johncage.org

Bacchanale was Cage’s first work for prepared piano, composed in response to a request for a “dance accompaniment” by fellow faculty member at the Cornish School, Syvilla Fort. As per Fort’s request for a work with an African “inflection,” Cage intended to write a piece for percussion ensemble. However, given that the performance space was too small to accommodate a battery of percussion instruments, and that he had only a traditional grand piano with which to work, he began experimenting with objects placed inside the piano – under and between its strings – attempting to alter its sounds. The final preparations are quite simple: weather-stripping, pieces of rubber, and screws and bolts. The prepared piano became a signal instrument for Cage. Years later, in 1949, after the N.Y. premiere of his magnus opus for the instrument, Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48), Cage received citations from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Academy of Arts and Letters for having “extended the boundaries of music.”

Below is an example of a piano performance via Franco Foderà on YouTube chosen mainly for the close ups of the prepared piano:

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Categories: Guitar News

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