Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)


Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born on April 3 , 1895. That was 124 years ago. Three of his pieces are among the 100 most recorded pieces for guitar:


Tarantella, Op. 87a (1936) (TOP 67)

Capriccio Diabolico (Omaggio a Paganini), Op. 85 (1935) (TOP 93)

Sonata in D major for Guitar Solo, Op. 77 (1934) (Omaggio a Boccherini) (TOP 96)


In recent years, several young guitarists have been recording more of his music, especially his Sonata. Castelnuovo-Tedesco shows an astonishing melodic gift in his pieces for guitar, and for all these gems: Mile grazie caro Mario!


PS: If you would like to read more about Castelnuovo-Tedesco, here is a 1995 article by Graham Wade: The relevance of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco


Guitar Quintets


Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

Classical Guitar Magazine (USA) published, in the Spring 2019 issue, an article by Dr. Kevin Garry titled: The Guitar Quintet . From Obscurity to Celebrity. Read the article here :

The author writes about a list of more than 300 existing works for guitar and string quartet. I already had started researching the subject, so this gave me the occasion to resume my work and identify another 30 quintets for a total of…97! As a rule of thumb, I considered any piece, of any length that was originally written (to my knowledge) for quintet.

Quintet activity on CD had a burst in the mid-1990s, then at the beginning of the 2000s and another very recent period with 25 recordings that saw the light after 2010.

Here is a list of the most recorded Quintets :

1- Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) G 448 Fandango [34 recordings]

2- Tedesco, Mario Castelnuovo- (1895-1968) Quintetto, Op. 143 (1950) [23 recordings]

3- Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) G 453 La Ritirata di Madrid [21 recordings]

4- Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) G 451 [19 recordings]

5- Guastavino, Carlos (1912-2000)Jeromita Linares [15 recordings]

6- Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) G 447 [14 recordings]

7- Giuliani, Mauro (1781-1829) Gran Quintetto,  Op. 65 [13 recordings]

8-Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) G 445/ G 446/ G 449/ G 450 [11 recordings each]

Brouwer, Leo (1939-)Quinteto (1957) [11 recordings]

9- Pujol, Máximo Diego (1957-)Tangata de Agosto [3 recordings]

   Sierra, Roberto (1953-) Tríptico [3 recordings]

Who produced as many quintets as Boccherini?

Nobody. Still, Giuliani wrote 4 (Op. 65 , 101, 102 and 103) and Máximo Diego Pujol 3: Tangata de Agosto; Oliverianas and Guernica. Celebrity? Maybe not yet, but the guitar can have pride in a growing number of high-quality quintets!

16, 000th recording!


On February 13, 2019 my Classical Guitar Computerized Discography (started in 1985) reached 16, 000 recordings. The 16, 000th CD I entered on that day was A Salon Operaby Flauguissimo. This ensemble is a Flute and Guitar Duo featuring guitarist Johan Löfving, and flutist Yu-weiHu,recorded by Resonus Classics(RES 10233).


Furthermore, Flauguissimo plays on period instruments, an 8-keyed wooden flute (Grenser replica) and an original French guitar (ca 1850).


Two flute and guitar pieces stand out for me on this CD: Francesco Molino’s [71 recordings] Nocturne Op. 38 [only 9 recordings found] and Mauro Giuliani’s [949 recordings] Grande Serenade, Op. 82 [only 10 recordings found]. Among the solo pieces, Fernando Sor’s Op. 9 variations is, of course, the TOP 5 most recorded original piece for guitar.


Congratulations to all!

Eduardo Sáinz de la Maza y Ruiz

Eduardo Sainz de la Maza was born 116 years ago on January 5, 1903 and died on December 5, 1982. His compositions are not that familiar, except for Campanas del alba [TOP 88 most recorded piece for guitar], a beautiful tremolo piece, and Habanera [TOP 99 most recorded piece for guitar]. Guitarist Alex Garrobé recorded a beautiful CD devoted to Sainz de la Maza’s compositions (

eduardo sainz de la maza courtesy classical guitar magazine

I only found 12 different pieces by Sainz de la Maza (among a total of 144 recordings with at least one piece by him) that have been recorded. Among these, four compositions stand out :

Homenaje a la guitarra [15 recordings]

Homenaje a Toulouse-Lautrec [12 recordings]

Suite Platero y yo [11 recordings of the complete 8-part suite]

Bolero [10 recordings]

Photo courtesy of Classical Guitar Magazine

Dilermando Dos Santos Reis



Guitarist, teacher and composer Dilermando Dos Santos Reis  was born on September 22, 1916. Next January 2nd, 2019 we will be celebrating Reis’ 42nd year of death (1977). According to Brazilian guitarist Gilson Antunes, Dilermando Reis left us with a legacy of dozens of recordings spanning from 1941 to 1973, including the first recording of Radamés Gnattali’s (1906-1988) Concertino No. 1 (1951) in 1970.


The composer

According to Brazilian expert Ivan Paschoito, Reis would have written around 120 pieces for guitar. His output, a mix of infectious rhythms and touching romantic melodies, has yet to be recorded entirely but I still located 63 different pieces on disc including by Reis himself.


The Reis discography doubled in the last five years, reaching 148 recordings. This, surely thanks to many well-known artists that decided to champion his works. Among these are the Assad brothers, Paulo Bellinati, Nora Buschmann, Oscar Cáceres, Ricardo Cobo, Ahmed El-Salamouny, Gabriel Estarellas, Shinichi Fukuda, Matt Palmer, Marco Pereira, Alexander-Sergei Ramírez, David Russell, Maria Livia São Marcos and Xuefei Yang.


The most recorded pieces

A strong contender to the TOP 100 list of most recorded original pieces for guitar, Se Ela Perguntar has been recorded 86 times! Other favourite pieces include Xôdo da Baiana [35 times], Uma Valsa e Dois Amores [23 times], Doutor Sabe Tudo [19 times], Eterna Saudade and Magoado [17 times each].



Ivan Paschoito

304 Guitar Concertos!

Among more than 15, 800 classical guitar recordings listed in my CG database, I found 304 different Guitar Concertos : 10 by Leo Brouwer, 7 by Federico Moreno Torroba, 6 by Radamés Gnattali, 5 by Angelo Gilardino and 4 each by Joaquín Rodrigo (let’s not forget that his Concierto de Aranjuez is the TOP 31 most recorded original piece for guitar and his Fantasía para un Gentilhombre – not a concerto – is TOP 79), Stephen Dodgson and Ernesto Cordero. But how many existing guitar concertos are there? That’s another question!13942661412884

In Memory of Roland Dyens October 19, 1955 – October 29, 2016

Cover-EnnoVoorhorst-Cobra0066-HRRoland Dyens’ discography has been growing steadily since his passing. Last October 5, 2018 I found information on a 400th recording with at least one piece composed by him. One of these very recent CDs stands out: First, it is completely dedicated to him. Second, it is the first recording of Concerto Métis since the composer’s own recording in 1997. A great way of honoring Dyens’ memory!


Concerto Métis by Enno Voorhorst

Happy Birthday Johann Kaspar Mertz !


Johann Kaspar Mertz was a Hungarian guitarist and composer born on August 17, 1806 and who died on October 14, 1856. His beautiful Elegie is the TOP 96 most recorded piece for classical guitar.

Of the group of most renowned and recorded contemporary Romantic guitarists (Napoléon Coste, Luigi Legnani, Giulio Regondi) Mertz is the only one that has achieved TOP 100 status. His own Fantaisie hongroise, Op. 65 is a close runner-up to Elegie as a favourite choice by recording artists.

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)

Alberto Ginastera courtesy Classical Guitar Magazine

Photo courtesy of Classical Guitar Magazine (UK)

In a few days, on the 25th, we will commemorate the death of Alberto Ginastera, the great Argentinian composer who left us 35 years ago. He wrote his Sonata, Op. 47 in 1976


This powerful piece comes in four movements :

I Esordio (Solenne – Poco più mosso) • II Scherzo (Fantástico) • III Canto (Rapsódico)

IV Finale (Presto e Fogoso)


It reached the TOP 51 rank of the guitar’s most recorded original pieces. We recommend the following recordings of his Sonata if you are not familiar with it:


Ducharme, Jérôme • Naxos • 8.570189

Pierri, Álvaro • Alpha Omega Sound • AOS 071001

Zanon, Fábio • EGTA • SGV10.150-01

Agustín Pío Barrios


At the beginning of May, on the fifth, we celebrated the birth of Agustín Pío Barrios (1885-1944) [1185 recordings found], Paraguayan guitarist and composer of note.


Barrios has 10 compositions among the TOP 100 most recorded original pieces for classical guitar. The only other composer on a par with this achievement is Francisco Tárrega y Eixea (1852-1909) [1584 recordings] and Barrios’ popularity is still growing strong as one can regularly see CDs issued that present many of his pieces or entirely dedicated to his compositions [in this case, 46 recordings]. The universal appeal of his music is confirmed by the origin of many guitarists recording his compositions: The Americas and Europe but also Greece, Japan, Turkey, Slovakia and many others.


His music has all the ingredients for success: it is complex but touching, virtuosic, varied and exciting. ¡Gracias Agustín!