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, May 9, May 23.
Bach, Sor, Giuliani, Tárrega, Coste, et al
Guitarissimo: Preludio—130 Easy Concert Pieces for Guitar
Schott, 124 pp.
In recent years, the superb German guitarist Martin Hegel has truly become one of the leading editors/transcribers of classical guitar music for players at all levels, with a host of publications put out by Schott, including individual volumes of pieces by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Dowland, and Sor for guitar, along with various anthologies, such as this splendid collection of 130 “easy and appealing preludes from six centuries. It includes all the best known guitar pieces for beginners in the simplest arrangements possible, designed for students in their second to fourth year of tuition,” presented chronologically, and within each chapter, in order of increasing difficulty. (Calling them all “Preludes” is perhaps a tad misleading, as many of them are not “Preludes” in the strict classical music sense of being a preface of sorts to the piece). All of the composers listed above are included, as are dozens of other heavyweights, including Sanz, Aguado, Diabelli, Giuliani, Carcassi, Carulli, Mertz, Coste, Tárrega, Barrios, and so many others. Most pieces are just a single page of music, many are half a page, and none is more than two. There are many, many styles and tempos (all sorts of dances, studies, exercises, etc.) and the last 35 are in a section very loosely dubbed “Modern Music / Pop Music/ World Music.”
The link above is to the Schott site. It can be purchased special order in the U.S. through Hal Leonard (and it should soon be available through Amazon, as well).
Europa (solo guitar)
Les Productions d’Oz, 4 pp.
Here’s a lovely and mysterious “advanced” short work from the superb Canadian guitarist Adam Cicchillitti that I just can’t seem to get enough of—I’ve probably watched/listened to the video below a dozen times over the past few days. It haunts me! In his notes on the piece, the composer notes, “Europa is my first published composition for solo guitar. It was written for my darling wife Virginie Abat-Roy in 2015. The piece is a portrait of the moon of Jupiter [Europa]. I imagine myself staring at the planet from the surface of the moon in awe.” In an email, Cicchillitti also shared, “Europa is actually the first piece of a set entitled Jupiter Suite, which I am still in the process of writing. The second piece, Io [another of Jupiter’s main moons] should be published in the fall with a new video and is dedicated to my friend, duo partner and amazing guitar virtuoso, Steve Cowan. The two of us will be touring contemporary guitar duo music in Canada next year.” The finished suite will have movements devoted to four of Jupiter’s 67 moons, plus one to the planet itself. Should be a fascinating piece!
Up the road, too, we’ll have some info on the guitarist’s 2018 album, which will be “a tribute to Nationalist Spain with a mix of classics from our standard rep—Albeniz, Granados, Torroba, Turina—with some of my own arrangements for guitar and baritone of excerpts from de Falla’s Siete canciones populares and Garcia Lorca’s Trece canciones antiguas.” That will be coming out on the Canadian Analekta label.
Here’s is a nicely made video of Adam performing his piece, Europa:
Waltz No. 2 from Suite for Variety Orchestra (for flute or treble recorder and guitar)
Universal Edition, 6 pp. plus part
Believed to have been written in sometime after 1956 by Russian composer Shostakovich (1906–1975; the spelling on the music cover is the German way of writing his name), this is actually part seven of an eight-part suite, most of them based on earlier pieces by the composer, and written for an unusual orchestra configuration consisting of 12 woodwinds, 10 horns, three percussionists, harp, celesta, two pianos, guitar, and some strings. “Waltz No. 2” is perhaps the most famous movement of the eight, having been used prominently in Stanley Kubrick’s disappointing final film, Eyes Wide Shut, and subsequently in commercials and other TV programs.
The UE arrangement is by Jean Cassignol and Michel Démarez. Below is a cool YouTube audio version of a different arrangement for two recorders and guitar; so the UE version will be different, but at least this will give you a sense of what the piece might sound like.