Josh Moore was back for more videos recently, and he always seems to introduce me to great new corners of the classical guitar repertoire. This time he performed two of the three Preludios Urbanos by Anton Garcia Abril. Josh plays Preludio de Atenas on a new 2018 Oscar Muñoz guitar in spruce and Makassar ebony – Muñoz took 2nd prize in the first annual Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition. He plays Preludio de Paris on a fantastic 1961 Arcangel Fernandez classical in spruce and Indian rosewood. Rosewood guitars from Arcangel are exceedingly rare, so it was fun to hear one in such good shape played so well!
We are so happy to announce that The Sound Of Torres, the new CD we produced with the great guitarist George Sakellariou, is now available! The CD features George playing two different guitars by Antonio de Torres, a First Epoch guitar from 1862 and a Second Epoch one from 1888. It’s a pretty amazing chance to hear these amazing instruments played by someone able to bring out all of their beauty and we are very pleased indeed with the result. The repertoire George chose spans from Bach to the Rolling Stones (George’s great arrangement of Paint It Black) and also includes works by Sor, Satie, Ponce, Fleury, Piazzolla, Carlevaro, Pujol and Mikis Theodorakis. You can buy the CD here, or you can download or stream the CD at Amazon, Spotify, or just about anywhere you listen to music.
For more information about the guitars themselves check out the liner notes by GSI president David Collett:
An unexpected treat for us when Guinga came in to record was getting to hear his wife, Anna Paes, sing. Here they are performing Neblina E Flâmulas, a piece written by Guinga with lyrics by Aldir Blanc, with Guinga playing a great 2006 Rafael Moreno Rodriguez flamenco negra in spruce and CSA rosewood.
Here’s more of guitarist Vasiliy Antipov, playing the 2nd movement of his Sonata in A Major on a beautiful 2016 Pepe Romero Jr. in cedar and Indian rosewood and his piece Poeme on that great 1968 Ignacio Fleta cedar-top. Vasily plays without nails and achieves a unique and beautiful sound. And be sure to check out Vasiliy’s Sonata-Fantasie, also played on that amazing Fleta.
Russian-born guitarist Vasily Antipov was in the US for this year’s GFA and in the Los Angeles area for some concerts, so we were very happy to be able to record some videos with him. Antipov currently lives and teaches in Frankfurt, Germany, and is a prolific composer in addition to being an accomplished player. And one thing you’ll notice is that he plays without nails and gets a beautiful sound that’s a little different than what you may be used to hearing. Here he is playing the three movements of his Sonata-Fantasie on a gorgeous 1968 Ignacio Fleta in cedar and Indian rosewood – a fantastic example of the work of Fleta’s great cedar period.
We’re very excited to present the world premiere of Evan Hirschelman’s new piece Unfeathered As We Are. Evan wanted to pair his new piece with the perfect guitar, and after trying out quite a few we wondered how it would sound on the 1969 Ramirez Segovia had owned and played for 11 years. There’s not much that guitar can’t handle beautifully, so we tried it and it turned out to be a perfect fit.
We asked Evan for a few words about the piece and guitar:
“Unfeathered As We Are is a new composition I wrote, exploring a wide range of textures and emotions. It was a joy to perform this work on the legendary historic guitar Segovia owned and performed on. It was interesting to hear what the maestro was looking for in an instrument, while adapting to the timbral sound quality to interpret my own composition and playing style. I actually had the chance to play this guitar when GSI received it over a year ago, and wrote about my experience on my blog. The sheet music for Unfeathered As We Are will be available on my website starting next week.”
We had some fun with Fabiano do Nascimento a little while back comparing the new Townsend Labs Sphere L22 in its U87 emulation to a real vintage Neumann U87. Fabiano played his variations on Baden Powell’s pieces Condonblé and Consolação on a beautiful 2018 Stephen Hill guitar in cedar and ziricote and we recorded him with both microphones simultaneously, so you can check out both videos to get a sense of how closely the Sphere L22 matches the U87. The first video features audio from the U87 and the second from the Sphere L22. The Sphere mic comes with a plugin that has some really powerful controls in terms of polar patterns and ambience, but I kept it at a plain cardioid pattern to see how the ‘neutral’ U87 sound compared.
We had a rare treat the other day when the great Brazilian guitarist and composer Guinga came in to record some videos with us. Guinga is one of those musicians whose relationship with harmony constantly astonishes. We’ve recorded his music before – most notably in our recordings of Capital – so having him here in person was just a fantastic experience. We’ll have more videos of his visit coming soon, but for now here he is playing his own Choro Breve and then his gorgeous arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood on a 2017 Andy Culpepper guitar in cedar and Indian rosewood – a guitar he really didn’t want to put down!
Here’s Alex Park playing Sunburst by Andrew York (Alex’s current teacher). The piece was made famous by York, of course, but also by John Williams and by Alex’s former teacher Christopher Parkening, and Alex does a beautiful job, playing it on a lovely 1993 Paul Fischer ‘Virtuoso’ model in spruce and CSA rosewood.
Here’s the legendary Angel Romero telling us about how he came to be in possession of a guitar – a 1926 Hermann Hauser I – that belonged originally to the violist Virginia Majewski who was a close friend of Segovia’s. Angel plays the guitar for us and tells how his father fell in love with the guitar and performed on it, eventually giving it back to Angel. One of those guitar stories that only the Romeros can tell…