Guitarist Katalin Koltai and flautist Noémi Győri arranged Haydn
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 occasionally write about classical-guitar album releases regularly in this online space, we also occasionally announce recent 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
This is the most recent published arrangement by Hungary’s Classical Flute and Guitar Project—flautist Noémi Győri and guitarist Katalin Koltai—and like their take on Mozart’sFantasy in D minor KV 397, it is wonderful and spirited pieces that is sure to challenge and delight duos who take it on. As Győri writes in the accompanying notes, the piece “was composed in 1780 for the notable pianist sisters Caterina and Marianna van Auenbrugger. With it flawless virtuosity and and myriad humorous moments, the D major Sonata is among the most spectacular, and [also] one of the most popular keyboard works.” Indeed, it’s “Allegro con brio,” played below, is rightly famous. The arrangement provides many opportunities for each instrument, and the combination here is positively intoxicating! Advanced.
Short, wonderfully melodic pieces written by blind Irish harpist and composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1839) seem to be turning up increasingly in classical guitar programs, thanks in part to folks like German guitarist/arranger Guido Böger, who follows up his Turlough O’Carolan Irish Harp Pieces for Classical Guitar collection with 72 more, most of them a page or less and at an intermediate level. If you know O’Carolan’s oeuvre at all, you know that nearly all of the pieces are named for different people—Sir Festus Burke, Mrs. Keel, Miss MacMurray, Lord Inchiquin, etc. “Throughout the arrangements,” Böger writes, I have sought to capture the unique substance and respective character of each of the tunes, with the goal of enhancing their beauty through the integration of complementary counter-voices and harmonies.”
We couldn’t find any video (or audio) that relates specifically to the book, but here’s an arrangement (not Böger’s, we must stress), of the aforementioned Lord Inchiquin, to at least give some sense of O’Carolan’s music. This arrangement is by Dutch guitarist Bouke Feleus:
You can always count on Steve Goss to come up with something interesting and provocative. He calls this set of pieces “music about films. Each of the six short movements pays homage to a director or genre.'” Goss drew his inspiration from specific scenes (as in the Chaplin film Modern Times), from film soundtrack music (such as Ry Cooder’s haunting score for Paris, Texas), a director’s body of work (Tarantino), or an evocative style (Noir). (Incidentally, the magical Italian film Cinema Paradiso has a wonderful score by Ennio Morricone, but it is not represented here except in the overall title of the book. That film, though, like this Goss work, was something of an homage to film itself.)
And then there’s 451, triggered by the excellent and disturbing 1966 Francois Truffaut film Fahrenheit 451. That film, Goss explains, is “set in a dystopian future—reading is banned and all books are burned. 451 focuses on ‘the book people,’ who live on the fringes of this society learning books by heart and teaching them to one another to keep the books alive. In keeping with this idea from the film, there is no written score for 451. Performers have to be taught the piece by someone else, or learn it from a recording or video—the original score has been burned.” A gimmick? Absolutely! But you can get your start memorizing this moody and appealing Goss piece right here: