This is Classical Guitar
I’ve been meaning to feature guitarist Merce Font for awhile after seeing her cool vlog posts awhile back. Here she is playing Sonata K.165 / L.52 (original for harpsichord) by Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), arranged by Carlo Marchione. This comes via her great YouTube Channel. I really like it when she chooses an articulation in the bass voice or pops notes and motifs out in contrast with her beautifully flowing legato.
I couldn’t find any live harpsichord vids on YouTube which is strange but there are these recordings.
And this more peppy one by the great Scott Ross.
Sight Reading for the Classical Guitar by Robert Benedict – Daily Sight Reading Material with Emphasis on Interpretation, Phrasing, Form, and More
These are two books I use with my students after they complete a basic my method book. I’ve found that students can learn a great deal from my books but so much of the detail and reading skills get lost in the effort to also try to play guitar well and with good technique. By going over these books after they complete my methods I can ensure that they will be good sight readers but also pick up on the variety of terminologies in music and textures in music.
The Pros: Short one or two line examples give the student tons of experience with multiple textures, rhythmics, dynamics and more. Terminology along the way, tips about phrasing and form are right next to solid examples. The emphasis is on musical interpretation rather than technique so it’s great to use after a method when the student has worked out some of the mechanics.
The cons: I don’t really think there are any. However, these are best studied with a qualified teacher to push the student toward higher musicality, smoother legato, contrasting dynamics, and more.
Publisher’s Info for Level I-III: This book for the classical guitar has been compiled to improve sight reading, an often neglected aspect of musicianship. With the guitar, musical components (scales, chords, arpeggios, etc.) may often be played in various positions. While this is one of the reasons that the instrument produces such colorful and interesting timbres, it also contributes to the difficulties of sight reading. It is important to develop facility in reading, recognizing the notes, as well as the bar positions in which to play them, the fingerings, the rhythmic patterns, and any markings if interpretation (dynamics, phrasing, articulation, etc.).This book provides an orderly and systematic approach to the study of sight reading, based upon standards for sight reading for the classical guitar found in respected schools around the world.
Publisher’s Info for Level IV-V: Sight Reading for Classical Guitar (Level IV-V) is designed for grade school or university level in either private tutoring of class instruction and is intended to be used by guitar students on a daily basis. This volume, containing Levels Four and Five, continues the study of sight reading, providing material suitable for more advanced students. Both books can be used to establish a reading level for students entering a new environment of guitar instruction, whether it be private tuition or class lessons.
Maria (Gavota) by Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909) for Classical Guitar. Notation or Notation+TAB, left hand fingering, PDF download. The level is not that difficult but there is large amount of shifting and barre so either late-intermediate or early-advanced (Grade 7 or 8). Join my Email Newsletter or help support the site & free music.
Free PDF Notation Edition (Fingered)
Free Unfingered Edition
TAB Edition from My Sheet Music Store
Keep in mind that I use my own fingerings, although I try to stay close to Tarrega for the most part. There were a few spots I came up with my own fingerings to ease the difficulty but the style of the work is somewhat reliant on Tarrega’s original fingerings, constant shifts with glissando, and rhapsodic nature. Anyway, there are some minor changes in each video below.
Thomas Viloteau’s performance is probably closest overall to both Tarrega and my edition.
Andrea González Caballero performance has more open string and alternative fingerings. I actually like this a lot and I think it’s even a bit easier to play but the flavour of the piece is slightly sacrificed (barely noticeable due to her great playing). My edition is closer to Viloteau’s but I agree with a few of these compromises/improvements.
Irina Kulikova’s performance is nicely stable but again does away with some of the constant shifts in favour of sustain and stability.
K.Fune Duo with Lievenka Van de Meirssche (Flute) and Abel Roland (Guitar), play Mitología de las Aguas by Leo Brouwer (b.1939). This comes via Abel Roland’s YouTube channel. Nice playing and such a big project. There’s a nice Wiki article on the work: “Mitología de las Aguas, or Mythology of the waters, is a composition for flute and guitar by the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, written in 2009 for the German-Venezuelan guitarist and composer Sef Albertz. Brouwer defines this work as his first sonata for flute and guitar, and especially dedicated the work to Albertz, who played the world premiere in the German city of Leipzig on September 4 of that year, in the Peterskirche, as part of the closing concert of the International Festival Con Guitarra under the cultural patronage of the German Section of UNESCO. The total duration of this composition, divided into four movements, is approximately 25 minutes. Although Brouwer refuses to confine it to a mere description or imitation of nature, the music of this monumental sonata is a kind of musical cartography Latin America, with its most emblematic landscapes, characters and cultures…”
I. Nacimiento del Amazonas – The Birth of the Amazon River (Brazil)
II. El Lago escondido de los Mayas – The hidden lake of the Mayas (Central America)
III. El Salto del Ángel, -The Angel Falls (Venezuela)
IV. El Güije, duende de los ríos de Cuba – The Güije, goblin of the rivers of Cuba (Caribbean)
Easy Christmas Songs for Guitar – Volume 3 – Solo Classical Guitar Arrangements with Lyrics & Chords. Comes with two editions: Notation Edition and Notation + TAB eidtion. PDF Download, some minimal left hand fingering. Songs: The First Noël, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Jingle Bells, O Come, All Ye Faithful.
About This Collection – Easy Level: Melody + Bass Notes + Common Chord Shapes. These are basically just the melody with the bass note of the chords added. I would barely call these arrangements, mainly melody. These easy Christmas arrangements are for beginner or intermediate guitarists looking for easy sight-readable songs for the holiday season. I’ve added the lyrics and chords to make them as useful as possible in group or family settings if singing occurs. More advanced guitarists may wish to improvise or work-out intros and extra accompaniment. Otherwise, the arrangements are simple melodies plus bass notes and some filling out of common first position chords. I wanted to create a nice and simple edition to relax over the holidays.Buy Easy Christmas Volume 2 (PDF Download)
- Buy Easy Christmas Volume 3 from Werner Guitar Editions – my dedicated sheet music store.
Italian guitarist Federica Canta performs Capriccio No. 28, Op. 20 by Luigi Legnani (1790–1877). This comes via Guitar Salon International and their YouTube channel. Great playing by Canta, I really like how she makes this caprice sound so calm and musical despite the intense virtuosity needed. Read more about Canata at her bio page. I’d recommend this edition of the Legnani Caprices by edited by Lucio Matarazzo (although the facsimile is pretty decent off of imslp).
Sonata IX in C Major by Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687–1750) – Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Bourée, Sarabande, Menuet 1 & 2, Presto. Arranged for Classical Guitar by Bradford Werner. Comes with a fingered editorial edition and an unfingered non-editorial edition (see preface below). Notation only, left hand fingering only, 33 pages, PDF download. Level: Advanced (some movements are easier than others but overall this is quite challenging and often awkward).
Sonata IX by Weiss (PDF Sheet Music)
The music of Sylvius Leopold Weiss is some of the most beautiful music of the Baroque era. The galant style features smooth flowing musical lines along with Baroque era textures and ideas. Although there are many difficulties in arranging 13-course lute music on the 6-string guitar, guitarists will continue to pursue the music of Weiss due to its beauty and historical connection to plucked instruments. The term “Sonata” should be associated here with the term with the Baroque “Suite” rather than any classical era form. Source: Dresden Manuscript – WeissSW37.1 à 8 Ms. Dresde D-Dl2841.
Read the full preface here (PDF) – Includes performance notes, information on the editions, and an important note about ornamentation in Weiss’ music.
Video Performances (I’ll be recording these gradually over the next few months)
YouTube Links: Prelude