In 1994, Naxos undertook to create the world's largest catalogue of solo classical guitar recordings. The Naxos Guitar Collection, comprising 'Complete Editions', the 'Laureate Series' and the 'National Series', today numbers more than 100 titles, with that total doubling in our wider segment catalogue of music for guitar and lute (see left) that ventures outside the scope of solo recitals.
Using the finest microphones in a magical acoustic, perfectly suited to the guitar's subtle nuances and enhanced by the latest digital technology, Naxos recordings capture all the intimate detail and dynamic depth of the guitar's voice.
This month sees the addition of two new guitar titles: the first continues our series of works by Fernando Sor, performed by renowned artists Norbert Kraft and Jeffrey McFadden; the second is the latest in our Guitar Laureate Series with a recital by João Carlos Victor, winner of the 2015 Tárrega Guitar Competition.
Fernando Sor was not only one of the great guitarists of his era but a major composer for the instrument, described by a contemporary critic as ‘the Beethoven of the guitar’. His desire for the guitar to represent a miniature orchestra in timbre is a distinctive feature of his many compositions. The 24 Progressive Lessons, Op. 31 offer a panoramic lexicon for the student, moving from a simple waltz to perpetual motion, whilst the charming SixLittle Pieces, Op. 32 further explore technical efficiency and musical expressiveness.
Listen to an extract from 6 Short Pieces, Op. 32:
No. 6 Galop
DOWLAND • RODRIGO • TÁRREGA
RIOS FILHO • CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
Winner of the 2015 Tárrega Guitar Competition, João Carlos Victor brings us a captivating and imaginative programme with numerous transcriptions of his own and a première recording of music dedicated to him with Paulo Rios Filho’s dramatic Répéter. The music of John Dowland stands at the heart of this album, the mystery and melancholy of his chromatic fantasias providing moments of reflection between the theatricality of Rodrigo’s Invocación y Danza, Tárrega’s luminous mazurkas, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s brightly neo-classical Sonata.
Listen to Francisco Tárrega's Maria
About the Artists
Norbert Kraft, the first North American to win the Segovia International Competition in 1985, is now one of the most outstanding classical guitarists of his generation. He is a best-selling recording artist whose many award-winning recordings have received international acclaim. He has toured extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, and has performed concertos with dozens of major orchestras. As an award-winning recording producer, he has engineered and produced over 350 recordings, and serves as the artistic director of the Naxos Guitar Collection.
Jeffrey McFadden has firmly established a place among today's most admired guitarists. Concert engagements have taken him throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, and he has appeared as a featured performer at many international music festivals. His début recording was the first in the Laureate Series on Naxos, since when he has recorded a further eight, highly acclaimed albums. Jeffrey McFadden was the first ever graduate of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree programme at the University of Toronto, studying under Norbert Kraft.
João Carlos Victor, winner of the 2015 Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition, began guitar studies in his native Brazil. This was followed by periods of further study with illustrious mentors in Germany and Switzerland. His interest in contemporary music has facilitated collaborations with a number of noted composers, including Sofia Gubaidulina, Leonardo Boccia and Paulo Rios Filho. Now based in Basel, he continues to combine his focus on works for the modern guitar with an ongoing study of repertory from the romantic and early music periods.
“Norbert Kraft is a magnificent musician. He is as comfortable with the delicacies of Villa-Lobos's Choros as when negotiating his way with skill and grace through the technical minefield of the Preludes and Etudes. Even guitar haters should hear this.”
– BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
“…McFadden plays them all with a wonderfully clean and flexible technique, great sensitivity, and a beautifully limpid tone. This is major artistry—I cannot really imagine this type of issue being done better.”
– Classic CD
“The playing on the review disc is probably best described as impeccable, and technically inspiring ... The current offering by Jeffrey McFadden is strong motivation to seek out his earlier two Barrios volumes which, if anything akin to the review disc, are guaranteed to please.”
– MusicWeb International
“Jeffrey McFadden not only is an extraordinary guitarist – he's also an inspired musician. No question, this is one of the loveliest discs in Naxos' burgeoning guitar collection. Buy it.”
Other releases by winners of the Tárrega International Guitar Competition
“And still they come: these fantastic, young guitarists, winners of important guitar competitions and then picked up by Naxos and presented in their ever-growing Laureate Series. Spanish born Pablo Sáinz Villegas, still in his mid-twenties, is merited indeed: he is a winner of fourteen (!) international competitions ...”
– MusicWeb International