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Last year, we were thrilled to play a role hosting Guitar CoOp’s interview with Christopher Parkening here in the GSI showroom. This past month, all four parts of the series were released and the entire interview is now available!
Throughout the interview, Parkening touches on many fascinating subjects including his early life with the guitar, studies with Andres Segovia, recording CD’s with Columbia Records, and his experience working with legendary composers including Elmer Bernstein, John Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo, and more.
Our good friend Marcelo Kayath of Guitar CoOp just published an interview he conducted with maestro Pepe Romero at the Koblenz Guitar Festival last year. Marcelo is a great interviewer due to his insider/outsider status (he is recognized as having been one of the great guitarists of his generation but has not really been a part of the scene for the last 30 years) and always brings out the best in his subjects. In Part one of the interview they discuss Pepe’s early years studying with his father and how his lifelong love of flamenco began.
Here’s the final installment of the Guitar CoOp John Williams interview. This is a landmark, in-depth interview with one of the very best classical guitarists of the last century and this one, conducted by interviewers who are themselves accomplished guitarists. In part 1 Marcelo Kayath of Guitar CoOp (which produced the video) and guitarist/composer Stephen Goss of the Royal Academy of Music discuss Williams’ early development as a guitarist and in particular Len Williams’ (his father) teaching style and philosophy. They discuss Williams’ early years and his great friendship with the recently deceased Alirio Diaz, and they conclude with a very interesting discussion of technique and of improvisation. In part 2 they discuss pop music, composition, repertoire, the 1960’s and more, and in part 3, titled ‘The Composers’ they discuss Baroque music, 19th Century composers, collaborations and more. In this fourth and final part they discuss practicing technique, life-long repertoire, relaxed playing and the guitars themselves.
Our friends at Guitar CoOp in Brazil have just put out another teaser video announcing the imminent release of legendary guitarist Edson Lopes‘ first solo guitar CD, which will feature music by Weiss, Barrios Mertz, Pujol, Legnani, Coste. We’re big fans of Guitar CoOp because of their commitment to making amazing recordings of great players playing fantastic guitars (looks like Lopes is playing a Hauser in this video). Be sure to check out their CD Quadros, which features Jorge Caballero playing music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky
Since its beginnings in 2011, the GSI Foundation has been working hard to keep music education alive in public schools across the United States. By providing programs with the necessary instruments, instruction, and inspiration, they have been able to provide thousands of kids with the opportunity to experience music firsthand.
As we look forward to the release of Scott Tennant’s CD of Segovia’s music recorded on the 1969 Jose Ramirez 1a ‘AM’ that was owned by Segovia, we came across this video of Segovia himself playing the guitar. The video is from a 1972 documentary apparently made for Italian television, but we were very excited to see that there was Segovia playing the very guitar that wound up in the Russell Cleveland collection and subsequently at GSI, where we recorded Scott’s CD, as well as some other videos with great players (you can see them all here). Scott’s Segovia CD is being published by Guitar Coop and will be released soon! Watch at 0:34 in the video to see the camera zoom in and show the serial number of the guitar – No. 3,339.
Here’s a very rare treat – Scott Tennant and Marcelo Kayath playing ‘Divertimento’, the only guitar duo written by Andrés Segovia. The piece has not been widely performed, although the Abreu brothers recorded it in 1968 for their album “The Guitars of Sergio and Eduardo Abreu” from 1968 and one can find a few videos on YouTube these days.
GSI recently provided Segovia’s 1969 Jose Ramirez guitar, which the maestro played from1969 until 1980, to Scott Tennant for his Guitar CoOp recording of Segovia’s compositions. Kayath is the founder of Guitar CoOp in addition to having been one of the great guitarists of his generation (along with Tennant et al). So it just made sense to have the two of them take advantage of the circumstances and record Segovia’s only guitar duet together. Tennant plays the 1969 Ramirez and Kayath plays a gorgeous 1966 David Rubio.
Marcelo Kayath was a rising star in the classical guitar world in the 1980’s. In 1984 he won first prize in the two biggest guitar competitions in the same year: the 4th Toronto International Guitar Competition and the XXVI Paris Councours International de Guitare. In the following year he embarked on tours of Europe and the USA to unanimous critical acclaim, and he recorded many CDs for several labels, including Hyperion, MCA Classics and Pickwick. Kayath retired from the guitar in the early 1990’s and pursued a completely different career as a banker. Now he is back with his first recording in 25 years and proves that he is still a force to be reckoned with.
The new CD, Suites & Sonatas, is published by Guitar CoOp, which Kayath helped found, and features suites by Bach and Weiss and Sonatas by Sor and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Check out the video below for a sample of Kayath playing Bach.
When Scott Tennant came by to play some of the Cleveland Collection guitars late last year he more or less fell in love with the 1969 Ramirez that Segovia had owned and played from 1969 to 1980. When he told us he was about to record a CD of Segovia’s compositions we all had a Eureka moment and realized he had to record the CD using this guitar. The CD will be produced by the Guitar CoOp in Brazil (which is headed by our friend Marcelo Kayath) but we will record it here in Santa Monica.