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 (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
Jonathan Jackson 24 Preludes(solo guitar)
Eurasian Editions, 24 pp.
According to a review of this piece by British composer Jackson posted on the Eurasian Editions website, “The association with the Villa-Lobos cycle [12 Etudes] is so well-connected with the purpose of this work that the 24 Preludes make for a most impressive workout for intermediate instrumentalists… Especially [as] they deal with issues not often addressed in guitar etudes and provide useful work as concert literature. They could be listed here as: polyrhythms, the independent conduct of three voices, reading notes in flats, etc. Above all, the series is a kind of compendium of a knowledge of harmony.” Some free samples of the sheet music are available here. Jackson has also written for guitar duo, harpsichord, harp, and chamber ensemble.
Roddy Ellias At Peace(solo guitar)
Les Productions D’Oz, 2 pp.
Quebecois guitarist/composer Ellias wrote this short, moving elegy in memory of Montreal keyboardist, teacher, and choral conductor Christopher Jackson (1948–2015). In the video below it’s played by Jordanian guitarist Tariq Harb:
Edited by Peter Ansorge and Bruno Szordikowski, this compendium of “easy” pieces (requiring about three years of guitar study) presents 40 short works spanning five centuries of guitar (and lute) music in many different styles, and includes composers such as John Dowland, Bach, Robert de Visée, Gaspar Sanz, Mauro Giuliani, J.K. Mertz, Mozart, Chopin, all the way up to a 1960 Francis Poulenc Sarabande dedicated to the great Ida Presti. A helpful CD containing performances of the pieces by Martin Hegel (plus tuning notes) is included in the book.
Here’s a video of the aforementioned Poulenc Sarabande, played by Izhar Elias, who knocked us out at last year’s GFA in Denver:
Nejc Kuhar Trio No. 5465798 (for flute, violin, and guitar)
Les Productions D’Oz, 19 pp. plus parts
Here’s something cool you don’t see every day: A video of a composer (in this case Slovenian guitarist Nejc Kuhar) writing out the first movement (“Neo-beauty”) of this engaging advanced trio piece in real-time, fast-forwarded to match the music. It’s a fine piece, too, with attractive melodies, some moody passages, and plenty for each of the three players to do. You can hear the second movement—the spry, active, but more dissonant “Dance”—on YouTube. And no, we have no idea what the number in the title signifies.
Joseph V. Williams II Isabel(for guitar and flute)
Les Productions D’Oz, 11 pp. plus part
Striking and quite dramatic guitar-flute duo from Austin, Texas–based American composer. According to Williams, it was inspired by “the tragic history of Isabel de los Olivos y López, a Sephardic woman who lived during the Spanish Inquisition.” She converted to Christianity as required, but was discovered to be a Jew, was tortured, and later took her own life in an act of martyrdom. It draws in part on an old Sephardic folk tune.
Below, the Cavatina Duo (Denis Azabagic and Eugenia Moliner), who recorded Isabel on their Sephardic Journey CD, perform the piece live in Austin: