Composer/guitarist Kevin Callahan with his late muse, Pounder
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 fascinating and complex advanced piece was commissioned by Russian guitarist Artyom Dervoed and premiered by him at the Guitar Foundation of America convention in 2015. We’ll let Callahan describe his piece:
“The Possessed is in three movements. The first movement features numerous and furious scales juxtaposed with lyrical sections that, for some, recall Chopin and Paganini. This is a very animated movement backed by power and bravado, yet offering moments of contemplation.
“The middle movement begins with harmonics and a feeling of space, a feeling of nostalgia. It is soon followed by a passacaglia that morphs into an accented series of odd meters where voices interplay and perhaps hint at modern Baroque.
“The last movement, while continuing with themes found in the first and second movements, combines both modern elements with easily accessible melodies culminating in a fury of discordant chords and blistering scales.”
Below, Russian guitarist Artyom Dervoed plays the lyrical second movement:
Some of you perhaps recall that in the Summer 2017 issue of ‘CG’ we published a breezy bossa-nova by French guitarist Damien Aribert called Nin-Nin in our “Music to Play” column. Well, here’s another piece of his, also redolent with South American flavors, for advanced players. He describes Eclipse à Rio, which appeared on his most recent album, Destinations, this way: “I have always loved rhythmic music, and especially South American music. I composed this sambinha during the lunar eclipse on February 21, 2008. It was inspired by my friend Badi Assad, a subtle, extremely talented Brazilian artist endowed with a wide range of musical expressions.”
Here is a version of Aribert playing the piece shortly after it was written:
Just in time for the holidays, here’s a short, very appealing piece intermediate players (and others) might enjoy getting under their fingers. French guitarist/composer Maggio comes from a musical family; indeed, the guitarist in the video is none other than the composer’s father, Guy-Jean Maggio. Both père et fils have taught at the Ecole de Musique Guy-Jean Maggio in the southern French city of Nimes.
I’m a big fan of Meyer’s adventurous latest album, Draw the Strings Tight, so I wanted to give a little (virtual) ink to this new intermediate method book published Mel Bay. According to the the publisher’s description, the book “provides extended arpeggios for all chords over the full range of the guitar’s tessitura. The fingerings provided for the left hand present a wide variety of shifting possibilities: open-string, glide, free-finger and squeeze shifts. Right-hand fingerings demonstrate sequencing patterns that will improve control and dexterity when navigating the thorniest concert repertoire.”
This video provides much more info about Meyer’s approach and what’s in the book. In fact, it’s alsmot like a mini-lesson in itself: