The Best Classical Guitarist - Who Is It?
There are quite a few names on the list of contenders for the title of the best classical guitarist. This article takes a look at four of the pioneers or the classical guitar who are still regarded by their fans as the best at interpreting classical music on the guitar.
The classical guitar is looked on by fans of other styles of guitar playing as technically advanced but a little starchy. Of course, to use the guitar to faithfully interpret works written for the piano or violin does need a formidable technique. Most classical guitarist students would be looking ahead a year or two to the time they could call themselves fully fledged guitarists.
The pioneer of classical guitar is Andres Segovia. His first guitar tuition was rooted in the tradition of flamenco even though he was never really interested in flamenco as material for his guitar playing. His interest in the contemporary music of Spain and in the works of J. S. Bach helped shape the repertoire of the classical guitarists who followed in his footsteps.
John Williams was a student of Segovia's who became known to a wider musical audience through his recording of Stanley Myers' Cavatina which became known as the theme of the movie, The Deerhunter, and his work with the band, Sky. If these populist projects had not happened John Williams would still be one of the best classical guitarists because of his flawless technique and confident approach to the guitar. Always on the lookout for new musical territory, John Williams has recorded many duets with Julian Bream and flamenco guitarist, Paco Pena.
Many classical guitar enthusiasts regard Julian Bream as the best classical guitarist. Although his playing is accompanied by tortured facial expressions, the sound he makes has a profound effect on all audiences. Julian Bream has recorded just about all there is to record in the classical guitar repertoire and is also a great lute player.
No list of contenders for the title of best classical guitarist should leave out Narcisco Yepes. Although many critics found some of his interpretations cold or mechanical, nobody could deny that when he was good, he was very, very good. At the age of twenty-one, Narcisco Yepes recording of Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo was responsible for turning the unknown piece for guitar and orchestra into a popular composition. This was in spite of the fact that Yepes had only a sketchy understanding of musical notation. According to some authorities, Narcisco Yepes was also the composer of The Anonymous Romance, one of the most popular solo guitar pieces ever. This remarkable guitarist also collaborated with Jose Ramirez, the famous luthier, to produce a ten string classical guitar which he first used in a concert in the mid nineteen sixties.
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