on 13 January 2011
If you like guitar music then you will enjoy the range of pieces and styles John Williams demonstrates here. It is a reminder, if one were needed, of what a great talent he is. Thoroughly enjoyed by all ages in the family and, given its length and variety, excellant value.
on 2 May 2016
This Ultimate Guitar Collection (2004) is a 2 CD set, drawn from previous releases, forming like a Greatest Hits collection. Disc 1 has 19 tracks, while disc 2 has 22 tracks. All the tracks were personally chosen by John Williams. In the liner notes, it was stated: "John Williams plays often for films, such as The Deerhunter (Cavatina) and A Fish Called Wanda, and also plays tennis (badly), chess (quite good), table tennis (better) and likes talking (about anything)...
The song listing is as follows:
01 Isaac Albéniz Suite Española, Op. 47 - Asturias (From The Seville Concert) 1992
02 Stanley Myers Cavatina from Deerhunter (From John Williams Plays The Movies) 1996
03 Bach Lute Suite No. 4 in E Major: Prelude (From The Seville Concert) 1992
04 Vasco Martins Triangular Situations (From The Magic Box) 2000
05 Tárrega Recuerdos de la Alhambra (From Portrait Of John Williams) 1982
06 Anonymous Romance (From Classic Williams - Romance of the Guitar) 1999
07 Manuel De Falla Dance from La Vida Breve (From The Mantis And The Moon) 1995
08 Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in E Major, K 380 (From The Baroque Album) 1987
09 Antonio Carillo Como Llora Una Estrella (From El Diablo Suelto) 2003
10 Ennio Morricone The Mission (From John Williams Plays The Movies) 1996
11 Julio Sagreras El Colibri (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
12 Erik Satie Gymnopédie No. 3 (From The Guitarist) 1988
13 George Frederic Handel Courante (From Echoes of London)
14 Agustin Barrios La Catedral (From The Great Paraguayan) 1994
15 Traditional El Condor Pasa (From Classic Williams - Romance of the Guitar) 1999
16 Edward Elgar Salut D'Amour (From Echoes of London)
17 John Williams Malinke Guitars (From The Magic Box) 2000
18 Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for Lute (From John Williams Plays Vivaldi Concertos) 1990
19 Scott Joplin The Entertainer (From John Williams Plays the Movies) 1996
01 Joaquin Rodrigo concierto de Aranjuez (From Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez) 1983
02 Heraclio Hernández El Diablo Suelto (Valse)(From El Diablo Suelto) 2003
03 Agustin Barrios Preludio En Do Menor (From The Great Paraguayan) 1994
04 Agustin Barrios Cueca (From The Great Paraguayan) 1994
05 Agustin Barrios Una Limosna Por El Amor De Dios (From The Great Paraguayan) 1994
06 Isaac Albéniz Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47: Sevilla (From The Seville Concert) 1992
07 Isaac Albéniz 12 Piezas Caracteristicas, Opus 92 (Serenata)(From The Echoes of London)
08 Erik Satie Gnossienne No. 1 (From The Guitarist) 1998
09 John T. Williams Schindler's List (From John Williams Plays The Movies) 1996
10 Bach Lute Suite No. 4 in E Major (From The Four Lute Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach) 1975
11 Enoch Sontonga Nkosi Sikeidl'l Afrika (From The Magic Box) 2000
12 Gabriel Fauré Pavone (From Classic Williams - Romance of the Guitar) 1999
13 Antonio Vivaldi Trio for Violin, Lute and Basso Continuo in C Major (From John Williams Plays Vivaldi Concertos) 1990
14 Andrew York Sunburst (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
15 Nino Rota The Godfather (From John Williams Plays The Movies) 1996
16 Manuel Ponce Scherzino Mexicano (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
17 John Williams Aeolian Suite for Gutiar and Small Orchestra (From The Guitarist) 1998
18 Charlie Byrd Spanish Guitar Blues (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
19 Charlie Byrd Blues For Felix (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
20 Charlie Byrd Swing 59 (From The Spirit of the Guitar) 1988
21 Leo Brouwer The Black Decameron (From The Black Decameron) 1997
22 Anonymous Saltarello (From The Guitarist) 1998
There are so many outstanding tracks that are my personal favourites, such as Myers's Cavatina, Tárrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra, Romance (the other outstanding version belongs to Liona Boyd), Morricone's The Mission, El Condor Pasa, Joplin's The Entertainer, Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, and Nino Rota's The Godfather.
Sony Classical was nice enough to use 20-bit Super Bit Mapping (SBM) to lay down the tracks. Thus, these original tracks are nice and clean. But unfortunately, like the rest of John Williams' discography, the digital engineer forgot to remaster each track properly to maximize the final sound. Here, if you look at the wave files on the computer screen, the amplitude is very low. Thus, one has to turn up the volume dial to listen the music. Fortunately in my case, I use Sound Forge 32-bit/96kHz digital remastering on these clean tracks. The result is an amazingly full sound with details and vibrancy.
If you like classical guitar music, John Williams is one of the masters. This set represents a good cross-section of John Williams' work, instead of buying individual CDs. This set is definitely highly recommended.
on 13 April 2009
Terrific collection of guitar performances, covering most of the genres that John Williams can perform so well, including some real classics, eg Cavatina. Would make a good gift, or an introduction to classical guitar to someone who had not listened to it before. A perfect aid to contemplation, meditation or study.
on 24 April 2013
Not being overly familiar with classical guitarists, I am rather ashamed to say that John Williams is a new addition to my collection, and a very welcome one at that! This is a double cd which is crammed full of beautifully crafted music (approx. 150mins total), some classical standards, some more traditional and all a joy to listen to. I really don't know why it has taken so long to discover this virtuoso guitarist but I am really pleased to have finally done so. Whether you want to closely appreciate the complexity made simple in John Williams' playing or just listen to relax, you will be taken on a wonderful journey.
on 22 June 2011
I have long been a fan of john willliams' music so I jumped at the chance to buy this as a gift for my father, I must say as it is a double album it was worth spending the money on it but some of the tracks are I think written for film so I was not used to the classical guitar pieces he is famed for however an enjoyable album but I'm sure I could have done better choosing the tracks more carefully, check the track list maybe before you buy it see if it is up to what you'd expect from a john williams double album.