Check out the Leonardo Guitar Research Project, which is testing our assumptions about the need for tropical tonewoods for the back and sides of guitars. In the audio sample, they have edited together recordings of nearly identical guitars made with various tonewoods, all built by students of luthiers Walter Verreydt and Karel Dedain. In the first video below you can listen to an edit of guitarist Gaëlle Solal playing the guitars with the various tonewoods, and in the second video you can hear Jan Depreter playing the Newspaper Guitar. Click here to take the challenge yourself and see what difference you hear.
Here’s Yuri Liberzon playing Manuel Barruecos’ transcription of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Etude No. 6 (originally written for solo flute) on an absolutely stunning 1912 Manuel Ramirez, built the same year as Segovia’s iconic Manuel Ramirez that now lives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The guitar comes from the Russell Cleveland collection and its history is extensively documented.
Here’s Andrea Gonzalez Caballero playing Manuel de Falla’s Danza del Molinero on a great 2014 Pepe Romero Jr. redwood and Indian rosewood classical. Pepe has made very few redwood guitars, and this one has a beautiful clarity to it, reminiscent of the Miguel Rodriguez redwood guitars. Like all of Pepe’s recent guitars, this one features his reverse-fan bracing system and a brass nut.
We are very pleased to announce that just in time for the 200th anniversary of Torres birth in 1817 we will be publishing a CD of George Sakellariou playing two very special Torres guitars – an 1862 First-epoch and an 1888 Second-epoch. We consider it our mission to share the sound of these historic guitars with the world, so we were thrilled when we were able to borrow back two of the best sounding Torres guitars we had ever sold to record a full-length CD with George, one of the most sensitive and accomplished players to have recorded videos with us.
A while back we were contacted by two direct descendants of Antonio de Torres. They were making a film about Torres and asked if they could use some of our videos and photos of the many great Torres guitars we’ve had come through GSI over the years. We were of course more than happy to help, and now they need your help to finish the film. Check out their modest Kickstarter campaign and help them finish what looks to be a fantastic film about the man who developed the guitar as we know it.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Torres, and it is the perfect time to celebrate all things Torres. His instruments constantly astonish us with the quality of their sound and even the volume they produce. You can see some of the great videos we’ve shot on Torres guitars here, and you can read a bit about the man himself here, but be sure to watch the video below then click here and consider contributing whatever you can to this film about the man who contributed so much to the instrument we all love.
As we celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Antonio de Torres, who both established the modern guitar as we know it and set a standard of sound quality that contemporary luthiers are still striving to match, it’s fun to look back at all of the videos we have shot on these historic guitars. From the first video we shot of Grisha Goryachev playing an 1890 Torres (the spruce and cypress SE 144 in a video shot completely with a Flip camera) to Andrew York playing Yamour on La Italica from 1888 (our most-watched video ever with over half a million views) to our most recent Torres video of Tavi Jinariu playing another 1888 Torres from the Russell Cleveland collection, we’ve had so much fun learning what these instruments are capable of as much as 150 years after their construction. So check out the Torres playlist on YouTube to hear these amazing instruments with everything from Tarrega to contemporary and Brazilian music. You can click here to go to the playlist or just watch the video below and you’ll be taken to more Torres videos at the end.
Also, check out our Torres Replica playlist to hear guitars built by great contemporary luthiers striving to achieve that ‘Torres sound’.
We have some photos of what will be the next guitar coming to us from Granada luthier Henner Hagenlocher. It will be a spruce-top classical and you can see the gorgeous back and sides for yourself. Henner tells us that this is rosewood he bought in England 20 years ago when he was a student. It will be a 650 scale guitar with traditional strutting and will feature a new Torres-inspired head stock design and limited edition tuners from Fustero, who has retired and makes very few tuners these days. The guitar should be completed in about a month.