Bradley Colten Plays Ernst Bacon’s Lively ‘Coon Hollow’

In the Fall 2015 issue of Classical Guitar, Lawrence del Casale interviews American guitarist Bradley Colten about his latest CD project, Ernst Bacon: The Complete Works for Solo Guitar (Azica Records). The prolific Bacon (1898-1990) composed hundreds of songs and instrumental pieces, including 19 for the guitar, some of them unearthed by Colten, an accomplished guitarist who wrote his doctoral dissertation at the Manhattan School of Music on Bacon’s guitar music.

In the Classical Guitar interview, Colten notes, “It’s really a treasure-trove of new music for the guitar, all privately written from the 1960s through the 1980s, and offered as gifts to his son. The works are quintessentially American in sound and [Aaron] Copland-esque in their melodic beauty and folk-like pathos. [They] articulate an American sound that Bacon helped to forge, along with Copland, [Virgil] Thomson, [Roy] Harris, and others, during the first half of the 20th century. My expectation is that, with time, these works will become mainstays in the guitar world.”


Here is a video clip of Bradley Colten playing one of the tunes from his Ernst Bacon CD, “Coon Hollow,” which Colten describes in the CD liner notes as “the most carefree of Bacon’s guitar works.” Written in 1983, “the piece is fun, exciting, and cheerful; it is in essence, a lively, Appalachian-inspired romp.”