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Classical Guitar ยป Ask the Readers ยป Your Must Purchase Guitar Albums

Your Must Purchase Guitar Albums

What classical guitar CD is your absolute favorite?

I’d like to put together a post with a list of ten or so CDs that are great listening. This is no easy task! The entire Naxos catalog of guitar music is great! John Williams has recorded everything. Then there’s Bream and Segovia.

What’s your favorite guitar album? Let me know in the comments!

17 Responses
  1. 2009 April 6
    jojo permalink

    Anything by Magnus Andersson:

    Amongst other things, he’s recorded Brian Ferneyhough’s “Kurze Schatten II”

    Mats Scheidegger is also good, but I don’t think he’s recorded anything yet.
    Check out his performance of Sam Hayden’s “AXE(S)”.
    Click Listen and View Score!

  2. 2009 April 7
    franky permalink

    How does one go about learning Kurze Schatten II ?
    Anybody got some tips ?

    • 2009 April 8


      It’s hard to tell from the preview score, but it seems that all the lines are to be play simultaneously. Some altered tuning pieces (ala Koyunbaba) have a staff written as if the instrument is in standard tuning and another that’s written at actual pitch.

      This is an incredibly complex piece, so the composer may have split it into three staffs to make it “easier” to read. So you’d have to think of each part individually. Most of the stuff on the two staff in the preview are harmonics, so they have to ring for the full duration, the other stuff have to be played “around” the harmonics (to keep them ringing).

      Then there’s all the expression markings etc. to take into account.

      Music like this gets into interesting territory, as it really almost takes a specialist virtuoso performer to really nail it. The Maw piece music of memory that Marcin Dylla is playing on his tour this year is another one that’s really insane.


  3. 2009 April 9
    franky permalink

    In my opinion Maw’s “Music of Memory” is not challenging at all, when compared with “Kurze Schatten II” !

  4. 2009 April 12

    Antigoni Goni Barrios volume 1. Sheer musical bliss in her phrasing. Barrios himself must be a proud man indeed, if he is listening, somewhere….

  5. 2009 April 14
    franky permalink

    In Kurze Schatten II:

    If the duration of an eighth note (quaver) is 1/8 or 0.125, then:

    a) what is the duration of the 1st note (f#”) ?
    b) what is the duration of the 2nd note (f#) ?
    c) what is the duration of the low F# played on the 6th string, in bar 2 ?
    d) what is the duration of the low G# played on the 6th string, in bar 2 ?

    Are you a musician or a wannabe? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. 2009 April 14
    franky permalink

    The notes, mentioned previously, are only in reference as to how they are written. Due to the use of the Scordatura tuning/notation, the notes may sound at different pitches than written.

    Questions for general education:
    2.a) What then is the meaning of the number in a square, that is frequently found close to some notes?
    2.b) What then is the actual pitch of the note, that is notated as a low G# (to be played on the 6th string), found in bar 2?
    2.c) What is the actual pitch of that note, in Hz, assuming a well-tempered tuning and assuming that a’ is tuned to 440 Hz?

    Are you a musician or a wannabe? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. 2009 April 14

    Franky, I’m going to assume these past two posts are a joke. I don’t really have enough of an interest in the piece to look into it more. Furthermore, most of your questions seem to be very mathematical, which is okay, but it doesn’t really matter. I think it terms of dividing a beat, not in ratios. I don’t think my answers would satisfy you.

    So apparently I’m a wannabe.


  8. 2009 April 14
    franky permalink

    Chris, I like your answer. If you’re a wannabe, then it’s not because of not being interested in Kurze Schatten II, or not liking it.

  9. 2009 April 14
    franky permalink


  10. 2009 April 16
    Paul Roshger permalink

    I highly recommend the first album recorded by Robert Ross. What a wonderful performer. He really brings the works to live, with a truly expressive way of performing!

    One of my absolute favorites.

  11. 2009 April 16
    Paul Roshger permalink

    Also great is the latin american guitarist and pedagogue
    Abel Carlevaro, with the superb album 20 microestudios

  12. 2009 April 16
    Paul Roshger permalink

    What else is there that’s good? Really good?

    You have to hear:
    The Legendary Andres Segovia in an All-Bach Program
    simply a 5-star performance by Segovia!

    Then there’s the Bach performance by Stanley Yates which is also really good.

    And Lawrence Johnson’s performance of all (!) works of Sor are pretty much a milestone in performance excellence!

  13. 2009 May 5
    David permalink

    I think The Assad Brothers’ Saga Dos Migrantes is incredible. The Suite Troileana gets better with every listen, and of course there’s the original piece Saga Dos Migrantes. Julian Bream’s v.12 20th Century music collection is great too, with Walton’s 5 Bagatelles being my favorite recording on the CD.

  14. 2010 January 3
    Robert permalink


    Thank you for your comments about my CD.

    My fiasco with youtube still haunts me. I did these as a favor for a friend in a video class. At the time I did not have high speed internet and never saw any youtube videos. I had also told him to ditch some of the videos. Alas, people now call me the worst guitarist in the world. I plan a second CD, which will make them eat their words.

  15. 2010 March 30
    Marcia permalink


    The only reason they could call you the worst (which was not very nice nor true) is because they have yet to hear me play! (And they won’t get that chance.)

    Your fellow BCM alum,

  16. 2010 April 1
    Emil Espinosa permalink

    My #1 : Sergio & Odair Assad play Rameau, Scarlatti, Couperin & Bach. Beautiful, stunning, revelatory, impeccably produced, any number of superlatives apply…