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Having been reared by a mother who loved her guitar almost as much as her children, I have heard these pieces played often and by many great artists, but never better, or more enjoyably. This is a compilation that consists of previously released material, some from the 70's and 80's, and the sound throughout is excellent.
This is a solo album - all of the pieces here are arranged for single guitar. Some of the music is distinctively Spanish, while others bear a Catalan and Portuguese influence. Few of the composers on this album are well-known names in the Northern-European culture, but in the Latin culture, these are names that are known, and the music even more so.
From the earliest century of guitar music, composers such as Gaspar Sanz and Alonso Mudarra show the origins of this kind of work, which includes dissonances that occasionally sound like modern composition. There are pieces with lively spirit and power, inspiring dance in a more popular mode.
Mateo Albeniz has only one surviving composition; a church organist in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century, he was influenced by Scarlatti and wrote for the harpischord - Williams has transcribed the piece for guitar here.
From the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, many composers were productive: Isaac Albeniz, Julio Sagreras, Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Francisco Tarrega, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Joaquin Turina. Some like de Falla were very influenced by traditional Spanish stories and musical themes, whereas others like Granados drew inspiration from the broader aspects of European musical tradition.Read more ›