John Williams

The Guitarist

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This three-disc set was released in spring 2011 to celebrate John Williams 60th birthday. The compilation divides selections into examples of his solo work, his concerto and chamber music work, and a disc called "The Romantic," which includes popular guitar favorites and other familiar pieces that many will recognize, such as Joplin's The Entertainer, the Cavatina from The Deer Hunter, and Satie's Gymnopédie No. 3. On "The Soloist" disc, there's the recognizable Prelude from Bach's Lute Suite No. 4; Albéniz's "Asturias" from the Suite Española, and Tárrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra. For the disc "John Williams & Friends," there are a few tracks of duets with Julian Bream (both Bream and Williams were students of Andrés Segovia). There are also excerpts of Williams' recordings of Vivaldi's Guitar Concerto in D major, R. 93a; and Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasía para un gentilhombre. The only things missing are examples of Williams' recordings of new and world music. Yet, the compilation serves well as a compact look at the career of an excellent classical guitar technician and musician, and it is also a nice sampler of the repertoire that would make a good introduction to the instrument for anyone who is curious about it.

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