We get so much sheet music sent to us by various publishers year ’round—literally hundreds of pieces in every setting imaginable (solo guitar, multiple guitars, guitar-flute, guitar-harp, etc.)—but we don’t have the space to write about the great majority of them in our four quarterly issues each year.
So, just as we are now listing new classical guitar CD releases every other Tuesday here, we now use the Tuesdays in between those to announce new print music releases. As with the CDs, these are not reviews per se (some will be reviewed in the magazine, but frankly most will not), but we think it’s important to at least get the word out about what’s being offered to guitarists out there. Where possible, we’ve linked the titles to the publisher’s website or some other outlet where it can be purchased, and stated the degree of difficulty (if provided by the publisher or it’s obvious). —Blair Jackson
Here is a link to our previous listings from October 25, November 8, November 22, December 6, December 20, January 3, January 17, January 31, February 14, February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11, April 25.
Sonatina Canonica (for two guitars)
Editions Max Eschig, 16 pp. plus parts
This wonderful and melodious piece was written in 1961 for the legendary Presti-Lagoya Duo. According to the accompanying notes by editor Frédéric Zigante in this new edition, Italian composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968) described it as a “small, unpretentious work” (complete performances usually run a little over ten minutes), and Zigante further posits the notion that many of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s works were “powerfully imbued with the spirit” of the great Baroque Neapolitan composer Domenico Scarlatti. Certainly that can be heard in some sections of this three-part piece. Apparently, Alexandre Lagoya made a number of changes to the original score; this Eschig edition is “the score as it was written by the composer without any revision, carefully preserving all the many signs of articulation (slurs, dots, and dashes) found in the original heliographs of the manuscript found in the Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya family archives.” Advanced.
Below, Spain’s Duo L’Encouragement (Pablo Rioja and Herminia Navarro) perform the entire piece, though this is not specifically the original Eschig edition, so there are likely differences. Still, it gives a good sense of the overall work:
5 Bossas (solo guitar)
Les Productions d’Oz, 12 pp.
Prolific Belgian guitarist/composer/teacher Carlin serves up a handful of short intermediate-level bossa-novas, each named after a different color. Samples of all five can be heard here, and below, the composer plays the opening Bossa verte. D’Oz also has published a new piece by Carlin called Ceci n’est pas une bossa-nova (“This is not a bossa-nova”).
Joseph V. Williams II
Zia: Myth and Folklore of New Mexico (solo guitar)
Les Productions D’Oz, 36 pp.
American composer Williams grew up in New Mexico, a state with a rich Native American heritage, and he writes in the book’s notes, “When I began writing etudes on extended techniques and timbre, I found a sympathetic relationship between this exotic sound palette and the frequently fantastical elements in New Mexican folklore. Therefore I have associated each etude with a mythic entity or folkloric story… Each etude addresses one or more extended techniques and employs timbral contrast as a structural element. The piece is intended for intermediate to advanced guitarists who wish to develop flexibility and proficiency in extended techniques and timbre.” The book also contains extensive musings, poems, and such that further illustrate the characters and tales Williams depicts musically, primarily in modern brushstrokes. (I don’t personally hear the influence of Navajo or other Native American music strains in this; not that it is claimed. —BJ) All seven movements can be seen played by Robert Gibson on YouTube.
Here, guitarist Joseph Palmer plays the movement called ‘Zozobra’ (known as ‘Old Man Gloom’), an enormous effigy of whom is burned annually in the Fiestas de Santa Fe.