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Every now and then a guitar comes to GSI that is just dripping with history. Such is the case of this amazing Robert Bouchet classical – the second guitar he ever made and the guitar that essentially launched the French or Paris school of guitar making that would include Daniel Friederich, Dominique Field, Jean-Noel Rohe and more. Check out the video to learn more about the circumstances that led Bouchet to make his first guitar at the age of 48 and to become one of Europe’s leading builders.
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!
Watch Marcin Dylla play the Valse Romantique from Alexander Tansman’s Hommage a Chopin on a stunning 1947 Robert Bouchet – the second guitar Bouchet ever built and the first he ever sold. Dylla’s performance is masterful and shows off some of the legendary elegance that Bouchet’s guitars are known for.
Bouchet is one of the giants of 20th Century luthiery and the founder of what would become the French School of luthiery which would go on to include Daniel Friederich, Dominique Field, Jean-Noel Rohe, Bertrand Ligier and more. You can also see the very first guitar ever built by Bouchet here.
Guitarist Peter Fletcher visited GSI and recorded some of the guitars from the Cleveland collection for us. Here he is playing the Courante from Bach’s 3rd Cello Suite, BWV 1009, on a an amazing 1961 Robert Bouchet, which epitomizes the ‘elegance’ we so often refer to when discussing Bouchet.
“A Dream Comes True” by Finn Wandahl
It was in the summer of 1972. I was a young, promising guitarist at 17 years of age who had just passed the entrance examination for the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music and was now spending the summer in Nice where French guitar virtuoso Alexandre Lagoya had been offering masterclasses every summer. I had not yet fully developed my technique and thus got to play for Lagoya only once. However, I did attend his master class lectures and was even taught by his assistant, a young French guitarist named Yves Chatelain. The lessons were held outdoors, in a wonderfully lush cloister garden porticoed on all sides. It was in these beautiful surroundings, where the lifelong dream of a guitar came to my young mind. Continue Reading
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from luthier Oscar Trezzini who has been on the move and making some very interesting changes these past several years. We first met him and took interest in his work in 2007 when he was then living in Switzerland. Oscar is originally from Argentina, and started his life as a guitar maker in Buenos Aires in 1982, initially under the tutelage of luthiers Pedro Malossetti and Héctor Curto. His early efforts produced a dazzling variety of different guitar types before he gradually refined his techniques and settled on the classical model, which he has built exclusively ever since. Once in Switzerland, we were introduced to him by Dominique Field, and we had several of Oscar’s guitars here in the ensuing years before losing touch with him. He recently re-established contact with us to let us know that he has just settled on the Portuguese island of Madeira, off the northwest coast of Africa and set up a new workshop with an ocean view and controlled humidity. His first guitars are already coming out and what a surprise they are…Continue Reading
Bertrand Ligier has just completed his next guitar for us, and has forwarded on a few pictures to give us a sneak peek of what is coming our way. After many years of seeing and playing guitars, it’s always a surprise to see what he has prepared for us – indeed we’ve never seen the same rosette twice from him (and they’re always extremely elegant, complex and perfectly executed), and we’re always curious to know what materials he’s selected for us. Something special about the wood on this guitar – Bertrand has used a gorgeous set of CSA rosewood for the back and sides that he selected from Dominique Field’s private stock. (Ligier also used CSAR from Field’s private stock for a 2018 model we had last year). This is quite remarkable when we realize that Dominique’s latest guitar for us was built with wood Field received decades ago from his predecessor, Robert Bouchet! We’re quite sure this guitar will sound as good as it looks, so be watching as we will list this instrument soon!Continue Reading
At the end of each year, we always enjoy looking back at the performances we’ve recorded and sharing a few of our favorites with all of you! This was an amazing year in videos here at GSI. In addition to the multitude of guitar demonstrations we were able to shoot, we also had a few surprise treats including the introduction of both our mini-doc and “First Looks” series, as well as the appearance of a few legendary musicians outside the classical echelon such as Fareed Haque and Guinga.