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
Celil Refik Kaya
The Suite of the Witches (solo guitar)
Les Productions d’Oz, 16 pp.
One of the top young guitarists from Turkey, winner of many international competitions, Celil Refik Kaya is also a prolific composer with more than 100 works to his name, including pieces for solo guitar, violin, piano, string trio, duets, sonatas, and other configurations. According to the description of this multi-movement piece provided by d’Oz, “This suite was inspired by a vivid dream the young composer had when he was 17. The vividness of the dream creates the fantastic elements and atmospheric images within the piece. The music goes to depict witches, autumn scenes and rituals in the manner of Renaissance and Celtic dances. The composer appropriately identifies this piece as a neo-Renaissance piece based on stylistic dances of the English Renaissance and Celtic dances. These dances have both been combined with irregular meters and progressive new age colors and harmonies.” Sounds intriguing! Advanced.
Selected Works (solo guitar)
Tonar Music, 44 pp., also on CD
This is going to make a lot of people happy: One of our greatest guitarists and arrangers offers his editing and fingering on 15 pieces by one of the instruments first great composers, Fernando Sor (1778–1839). Manuel Barrueco says in his notes that he chose “several of my own personal favorites, as well as a few little-known works that perhaps deserve more attention. In my opinion, Sor’s genius comes through most clearly in his short pieces, many of them perfect little gems filled with elegance, balance, refinement, and above all, beauty. His style, though deeply rooted in the Viennese school of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, is also imbued, at least at times, with distinct Spanish flavors.” Among the pieces are March from the Ballet ‘Cendrillon’, Study in C Major, Op. 6 No. 10 (God Save the King), Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Divertimento, Op. 2 No. 3, and five minuets, among others. Advanced.
But wait, there’s more! The entire program is also available on a Tonar Music CD called Fernando Sor: The Beethoven of Guitar, played by Barrueco himself. It’s beautifully played and wonderfully recorded; highly recommended. Samples can be heard here.
Here’s Barrueco playing Sor’s Variations on a Theme by Mozart way back in 1993:
30 Baroque Miniatures (solo guitar)
Les Productions d’Oz, 28 pp.
Aimed at intermediate guitarists, this book collects more than two dozen miniatures—nearly all dance pieces—from three Bachs (J.S. and sons Carl Philip Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann), Henry Purcell, Jean-Philippe Rameau, John Blow, George Philipp Telemann, Domenico Scarlatti, François Couperin, and many others. The pieces were selected and arranged by American guitarist Andrew Zohn, who is also a prolific composer, with more than 20 works of his own published by d’Oz.
Elegy for Ian Harwood (for Renaissance lute and sopranos); Musica Natalis Book 5 (for 11-course Baroque lute)
The Lute Society, 8 pp. and 28 pp. respectively
We realize this is getting pretty deep into a specialized niche, but the fact is, there are quite a number of lute players around the world, so we’re shining the spotlight on a couple of recent books by the good folks at The Lute Society in England, whose entire catalogue of publications can be accessed by clicking here. Lutenist/teacher/composer Brian Wright‘s Elegy for Ian Harwood is a truly lovely piece written in memory of the late co-founder of The Lute Society, in what is described as a “modern yet accessible style” for six-course lute and two sopranos, based around a William Drummond sonnet “in which the bereaved poet calls on his lute to fall silent.” This fifth of six volumes of Wright’s Musica Natalis—all of them Christmas-themed, drawing on European and English carols, variously scored for solo or two lutes, or lutes and voices (again, see the catalogue), Book 5 presents three suites for 11-course Baroque lute consisting of 19 carols from England, France, Germany, and Belgium. If you start practicing now you’ll be in great shape to perform them for your mates by Christmas!
Below, Harwood and sopranos Jeni Melia and Jessica Hallett perform Elegy for Ian Harwood: