17, 000th Guitar Recording !


Photo courtesy of Atma classique


Yesterday, April 8, 2020, my CG Computerized Discography (started in 1985) reached 17, 000 recordings.


The 17, 000th CD I entered was 14 Histoires de guitares [14 Guitar Stories] by  David Jacques. This experienced guitarist has an enviable discography of 40 Cds. For example, he previously presented the complete works of Robert de Visée, then Antoine Carré as well as Rémy Médard, all works played on Baroque Guitar.


This time, his project is a celebration of guitar making, specifically 14 historic guitars, built between 1665 and 1972. This includes the last playable Alexandre Voboam Baroque guitar (c. 1665). The recording venue, the church of Saint-Benoît in Quebec, Canada, is the perfect setting for this crisp and lively recording allowing each guitar to be presented in its best light. A 39-page, lavishly illustrated booklet, presents repertoire (34 pieces) that is superbly played and presents a mix of better known names (Giuliani, Sor, Sanz…) as well as lesser known ones (Nemerovsky, Arcas, Castillo, Marien, Shand, Pratten etc…). So thank you David for this magnificent CD!




A John Duarte Discography



Today’s post is dedicated to John William Duarte (2 October, 1919 – 23 December, 2004). 2019 was his 100th birthday year. This occasion was appropriately celebrated in 2 magazines :

Classical Guitar (USA) Fall 2019 Paul Fowles « Celebrating the Centenary of Jack Duarte » pp 42-43

Soundboard December 2019 Al Kunze « John W. Duarte : A Centennial Appreciation » pp 35-37


To my knowledge, his discography has now reached 217 recordings.


I found 5 recordings entirely devoted to the British composer’s output:

Smith, Neil  (1984)

Blaha, Vladislav  (2001)

Goni, Antigoni  (2001)

Pesaresi, Liliana (g) / Trabucchi, Luca (g) [Duo Chitarristico Waldner] (2006)

Larson, Swede (g)/ Nordvik, Amber (soprano) (2013)


His TOP 6 most recorded pieces are the following :

English Suite No. 1, Op. 31 (1963-65) To Andrés Segovia [49 recordings found]

Variations on a Catalan Folk Song Canço Del Lladre, Op. 25 (1956) [24 recordings]

Sua Cosa, To the memory of Wes Montgomery, Op. 52 (1972) [19 recordings]

Idylle pour Ida, Op. 93 (1982) (Hommage à Ida Presti) [dedicated to Alice Artzt] [11 recordings]

Birds, Op. 66 (1977) [Written for Robert Brightmore] [9 recordings]

Five Quiet Songs, Op. 37 (1968) (originally dedicated to Julian Bream and Peter Pears) [8 recordings]


Interestingly, Al Kunze mentions the pieces by Duarte that should be recorded more or at all. Among these is the monumental Variations on a french nursery song, Op. 32 (1965-66) [To Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya].


I found only 5 recordings of this masterpiece (Kunze’s word) that clocks in at almost 20 minutes. So thank you for your beautiful music John Duarte and I hope many serious duos will take up Op. 32, it’s about time!



Sources :


Enrique Robichaud Computerized Discography (presently at 16, 915 recordings)

Happy Birthday Jorge Cardoso!


This month, we celebrate the birthday of composer and guitarist Jorge Ruben Cardoso Krieger. Born in Argentina on January 26, 1949, Cardoso is famous for his Milonga in D minor which is TOP 47 on the list of the 100 most recorded original pieces for guitar.


I have found 226 recordings of his music, the latest being in January 2020 : Postcards for Guitar by Antonio Malinconico, where the artist plays no less than 4 compositions by Cardoso.


The Argentine composer penned more than 400 compositions. Through these, one can see his interest in Argentine and South-american musical forms. Nowhere is this more obvious than in his Suite de los Mita-I : 48 pieces, all in different dance forms of South America. So thank you and  ¡Feliz cumpleaños, maestro!


Find the list of Cardoso’s compositions here :


Desert Island CDs

This post is about favourites. Cds that I often listen to and give me repeated pleasure. Cds that I would absolutely want to bring on a desert island. I decided to share 3 with you. They are all played with plenty of charm, passion and inspiration. Which ones are your own favourites?


1- Giuliani’s Opuses  19, 25 and 52

Kazuhito Yamashita, (guitar)/James Galway, (flute)/ Joseph Swensen, (violin)/ Elizabeth Anderson (cello)

RCA (BMG Classics) • 09026- 60237-2 • 1992

Excerpt of Op. 52 : I Andante sostenuto




2- Guido Santórsola’s Sonata a duo No. 1 (1962) : II Lento (here played in concert)


Lars Karlsson (guitar)/ Michael Ljung (guitar) [Duodecima] [Sor Op. 54bis, Duarte Op. 32, Petit Toccata]

Opus 3 • OP 8201 • 1982




3- Laporta, Isidro de (1750-1808)

Guitar Trio No. 3 in G major, Op. 1: II. Rondo: Allegretto

Luca Trabucchi (guitar)/ Manuel Guillén (violin)/ Pierluigi Ruggiero (cello) [Trio Concertando] [Trios by Laporta and Antonio Ximénez (1751-1826)

Hungaroton • HCD 32615 • 2009


Happy Birthday David Starobin!

9520 cover 

David’s latest CD. Pictured with composer Fred Lerdahl


Today, Friday September 27 2019, will be David Starobin’s birthday. I don’t know what gifts he will receive but I certainly thank this very busy man for all the gifts HE gave us, guitarists, especially all his recordings. Talking about recordings, do you know how many he has recorded ? The answer is presently 67 recordings listed in my CG computerized discography of amazing, mostly First World Recordings to listen to. I do not know of any North American guitarist that has recorded more. My personal favourite Starobin recordings (and discoveries) are Henze’s Carillon, récitatif et masque, William Bland’s Nouveau Rag, as well as many pieces by Crumb, Jemnitz, Kolb, Lansky, Lennon and others.


So for all this hard work, thank you David and Happy Birthday !

Mauro Giuliani


Mauro Giuseppe Sergio Pantaleo Giuliani (27 July 1781 – 8 May 1829)

 This month, on the 27th, we will celebrate the 238th year of Mauro Giuliani’s birth. This great Italian guitar virtuoso and composer was born in the fortress town of Bisceglie (Puglia). His music is favourite among guitarists probably only after that of his contemporary Fernando Sor. 4 scores of his are in the TOP 100 most recorded original pieces for guitar :


TOP 48 : Grand Overture in A Major, Op. 61

TOP 64 : Grand Duo Concertant in A Major, Op. 85

TOP 71 : Rossiniana No. 1, Op. 119

TOP 77 : Variations on a theme of Händel, Op. 107


Mile grazie for your music, maestro !


Source: Heck, Thomas F. Mauro Giuliani: Virtuoso Guitarist and Composer

Carlos Chávez


Carlos Chávez (by Carl van Vechten in 1937)

Carlos Chávez [Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez], was born 120 years ago on June 13, 1899 and died on August 2, 1978.


Chávez was an important Mexican composer who wrote extensively for the piano as well as chamber and choir music, 6 symphonies and 5 ballets. Incidentally, he was a prominent student of the piano under Manuel María Ponce, and wrote 2 pieces for the guitar.


First, his Tres piezas para guitarra [Three pieces for Guitar] of 1923. According to guitarist Adam Brown, it was initially left unfinished until 1954, when Mexican guitarist Jesus Silva requested a piece from Chávez. Second, his Feuille d’album [Hoja de álbum in Spanish or Album Page in English] of 1974 . I found 13 recordings of the first and none of the second.


I recommend Manuel Barrueco’s thoughtful recording of the Tres piezas(VoxBox 3/ Turnabout-Vox • CD3X 3007) played on the late Robert Ruck guitar No. 58 built in 1972.


Sources :

About the Tres piezas :



Otero, CorazónManuel M. Ponce and the Guitar, 1983.Page 13


About the Ruck guitar :

Noted Luthier Robert Ruck (Builder of Manuel Barrueco’s Famous ‘No. 58’) Passes Away at 72


Sir Lennox Berkeley


Guitarist Julian Bream, dedicatee of Berkeley’s Guitar Sonatina

Born 116 years ago on the 12th of this month, guitarists may not be aware of Sir Lennox Berkeley’s quality contributions to our repertoire.


Here are the main features of Berkeley’s music according to British composer Francis Routh : « a textural lightness and lucidity, a harmonic piquancy, an eighteenth-century galanterie, and a thematic brevity »


As a composer, several of his works have come to occupy a special place on the British music scene such as Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 12 ; PianoSonata, Op. 20;  Concerto in Bb for piano and orchestra, Op. 29 among many others.


As for the guitar, he brought elegant contributions to the its repertoire with, as usual, their discography between brackets, and thank you Sir Lennox! :


Berkeley, Lennox Sir (12 May 1903 – 26 December 1989) [84] :


Quatre Pièces pour la guitare, Op. post. (1927-32) for Andrés Segovia [9]

Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1 (1957) for Julian Bream [39]

Songs of the Half-Light, Op. 65 (1964) for Peter Pears [5]

Theme and Variations, Op. 77 (1970) for Angelo Gilardino [21]

Guitar Concerto, Op. 88 (1974) for Julian Bream [3]


Sources :



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!