Today is Roland Dyens’ birthday, so it seemed like a perfect time to publish some video we have of him playing a concert at GSI with a very historic guitar. The guitar is a 1947 Robert Bouchet, the second guitar Bouchet ever built and the first he ever sold (he kept the first guitar, as he had made it for himself). This guitar can rightly be said to have launched the French school of luthiery, which would go on to include such figures as Daniel Friederich, Dominique Field and now the current generation of young French luthiers like Jean-Noel Rohe and Bertrand Ligier.

In the first video GSI president David Collett gives us a brief history of the guitar (including a great photo, taken the year Dyens was born, of the guitar being played by Friederich while sitting next to Joseph Reinhardt, Django’s brother), then Dyens plays Sor’s Le Calme. In the second video Dyen’s plays his arrangement of Django Reinhardt’s Nuages, and in the third he plays his new arrangement of Piazzolla’s Oblivion.

Huge thanks to the guys at AEA (RibbonMics.com) for lending us their N22 and N8 microphones for this concert!

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4 Responses to “Roland Dyens at GSI (1947 Robert Bouchet)”

  1. dave blakey says:

    I feel as though David’s comment about Bouchet being the first French guitar maker needs to be considered.
    Adrian le Roy (1520-1598) wrote and played music for the 4 course renaissance guitar, probably built by a Frenchman.
    Robert de Visee probably played a Voboam, also built in France. Julian Ramirez, although Spanish, built in France and
    was an influence on Bouchet.

    I’m sure Dave meant that Bouchet was the first modern or post WWII builder and a link to successive luthiers.
    No argument there.

    I’ve read opinions about the “Spanish” guitar. Some people seem to think that means Torres while others think
    Jose Ramirez and Miguel Rodriguez. I think it might be accurate to consider the time period and the primary
    influence on later day makers.
    Food for thought.

  2. David Collett says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the comments. Just to clarify, the tradition of guitar making that we specialize in starts with Torres. Torres is our “AD 1”, so to speak. In that world, Bouchet is regarded as the “founder” of the French school. Of course he was not the first Frenchman in all of history to ever build a plucked instrument – I certainly did not mean that at all. In fact, France boasts a very rich history of pre-Torres guitar making that is a fascinating in its own right. Once in awhile, we “cross-over” into that world – if you check out the c. 1860 Charles Boullangier guitar in our museum (this came to us as part of the Russell Cleveland collection) you’ll get a taste of what was happening in France (in this case, Mirecourt we believe) at about the same time as Torres was getting started. Renee Lacote, the Pons family, and many other very important makers make up a rich pre-Torres history in France.

    But in the context that I operate in, we typically talk about Torres as the “founder” of this tradition, followed by Hauser I in Germany as the founder of the German school, Bouchet as the founder of the French, and so on.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  3. Ernani says:

    Health, Peace and Love for the Maestro.
    The same birthday of the great brazilian poet Vinícius de Moraes.

  4. Eric says:

    Rest in Peace, Maestro Dyens.


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