Truth be told, keeping up with the inundation of new classical guitar album releases doesn’t give me a lot of time to go back and listen to old favorites in my collection. But among the ones I do regularly make time for is the six-CD Decca anthology L’art de Alexandre Lagoya avec Ida Presti. Egyptian-Italian by birth but essentially French, Lagoya (1929–1999) is, of course, best known for his duo work with wife Ida Presti (1924–1967), but he was also an extraordinary and versatile arranger/transcriber, teacher, and solo player.
In this video (not sure about the year or even era) Lagoya plays a piece called Feste Lariane, written in 1906 by Italian guitarist and luthier Luigi Mozzani (1896–1943). I think it’s fair to say that Mozzani is probably best-known today for his instrument-making skills, but he actually enjoyed a long and successful career as a musician, beginning with the clarinet and oboe, and turning to guitar a little later. He lived in various European capitals and in the U.S., but once lutherie became his primary focus, he moved back to his native Italy. —Blair Jackson