Various Artists

100 Best Guitar

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AllMusic Review by

Best Guitar 100 is part of EMI's "Best 100" series, begun in 2006, with six discs covering the highlights of the classical guitar repertoire from the Renaissance to the Modern era, written specifically for the instrument or transcribed for it. One advantage of this set over others in the series is that there are no excerpts of excerpts (i.e., partial movements from sonatas and concertos); only whole movements and complete works are found here. On the other hand, the music in this set isn't completely grouped chronologically as it is in other entries. There is one disc devoted to music of the Renaissance and Baroque and one of Modern music, but three of the other discs bundle the music geographically (Spain and Latin America). One disc is devoted to the music of the much-honored, blind, Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo and includes complete performances of his popular Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un gentilhombre. Other well-known works found here are a transcription of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring; Albéniz's "Sevilla" and Asturias; the Romance from Jeux Interdits; Granados' Andaluza; Ponce's Estrellita; and Piazzolla's La Muerte del ángel. Among the composers better known to guitarists than to the general public are Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Fernando Sor, and Leo Brouwer, who arranged a couple of the Lennon/McCartney songs on disc 6. The performers are some of the 20th century's best classical guitarists: Andrés Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, Angel Romero, Eliot Fisk, Julian Bream, and more. As with most compilations of this sort, the sound quality varies from performance to performance, dating as they do anywhere from 1939 to the 2000s, but it is generally very good. Best Guitar 100 is a recommended choice for anyone who wants to learn more about the guitar in classical music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Partita for lute in E major, BWV 1006a (BC L171)
1 3:12
Work(s)
2 1:38
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, for lute in E flat major, BWV 998 (BC L132)
3 2:33
Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
4 4:54
5 1:41
Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174)
6 3:13
Lute (Chamber) Concerto, for lute (or guitar), 2 violins & continuo in D major, RV 93
7 4:37
8 4:28
9 2:21
10 6:08
11 3:53
12 1:26
13 3:05
Pieces for lute in G major
14 6:08
Terpsichore Dances
15 5:43
Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 2 in E major, BWV 1053
16 3:16
Suite for lute in F sharp minor (Book 2)
17 4:25
18 1:55
19 3:42
20 2:32
Mandolin Concerto, for mandolin, strings & continuo in C major, RV 425
21 4:22
blue highlight denotes track pick