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The noted Naxos listings of guitar music in its Laureate Series and Guitar Collection expands further this month with the addition of three new releases: there's a programme of solo works performed by Swiss guitarist Johan Smith, the 2019 winner of the Guitar Foundation of America Competition; a recital of works for one and two guitars, composed and performed by the Montenegrin composer/guitarists Srdjan Bulatović and Darko Nikčević; and an innovative assembly of Australian guitar quartets performed by Guitar Trek.

Johan Smith Guitar Laureate Recital
Winner, 2019 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition

Johan Smith, 2019 winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition, presents his dream programme in this recital. Bach’s Toccata for harpsichord ‘borders on the unplayable’ for the guitar, especially in its final double fugue, while Manuel Ponce’s Variations on La folía de España and Fugue is one of the most challenging peaks of the repertoire. Mertz’s celebrated virtuoso Concertino is followed by Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, renowned for its blend of Elizabethan melancholy and contemporary strangeness. The recital concludes with a world premiere, the evocative Sables Stellaires by Josquin Schwizgebel, dedicated to Johan Smith.

Listen to an extract from Josquin Schwizgebel's Reflections from the Darkness:
III. Stellar Sands
Australian Guitar Quartets

Guitar Trek

Australia’s premier guitar quartet Guitar Trek reflects life in modern Australia with a programme that showcases works of immense colour and rhythmic vitality. The album includes the rich melodic and nostalgic quality of Richard Charlton’s Five Tails in Cold Blood (including the eponymous ‘Bluetongue’); the driving energy and shifting timbres of Nigel Westlake’s Six Fish that adds the distinctive sound of the 12-string guitar and dobro to the mix; and at its heart the music of Philip Houghton, one of the most original and poetically imaginative guitar composers of our time.

Listen to an extract from Nigel Westlake's Six Fish:
IV. Sling-Jaw Wrasse
Darko NIKČEVIĆ (b. 1971) • Srdjan BULATOVIĆ (b. 1972)
Works for Guitar

Darko Nikčević and Srdjan Bulatović, Guitars

Darko Nikčević and Srdjan Bulatović have gained international acclaim for virtuosic guitar duo performances providing a unique blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern mysticism. Their works are varied in terms of character, style, technique, rhythm and tempo, and share a common thread of Montenegrin traditional music, movie soundtracks, world music and popular contemporary movements. Their acclaimed album The Sea can be found on Naxos 8.573943.

Listen to an extract from Darko Nikčević's Dreams
About the Artists
Winner of numerous international competitions and named ‘Classical Guitar Revelation 2017’ by Guitare Classique magazine, Johan Smith has performed at renowned festivals and on international concert tours and radio shows. His particular interest in contemporary music has led to his collaboration with several composers, including Josquin Schwizgebel and Arnaud Fillion, who dedicated his Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra (2019) to him.
The Australian quartet Guitar Trek was formed in 1987 to launch a guitar family project which has become a major new direction of the guitar’s continuing development. Guitar Trek’s enterprise has involved a unique collaboration for more than 30 years between performers, instrument makers, composers, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Tall Poppies and, most recently, Naxos.
Srdjan Bulatović is a guitarist and composer. He completed his doctoral studies on The Influence of Flamenco on the Development of Classical Guitar Playing Techniques at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade. He has given numerous international concerts, including at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2016 and 2017, and is the founding director of the classical guitar festival Guitar Days in Podgorica.
Darko Nikčević is a guitarist, composer and audio engineer. In addition to classical music, his discovery of flamenco music, with all its advanced guitar techniques, opened up new aspects and ways of musical expression for him. An intense study of jazz music and harmony, as well as various other genres, has contributed to his own, authentic voice and original style of composing.
More recommended recordings of music for guitar
Follow this link to explore the complete Naxos Guitar Collection.
Follow this link to browse the Naxos Laureate Series.
Complete Guitar Works
Repentance • Sotto Voce
Serenade • Toccata

Tanenbaum • Viloteau • Psarras
Wyrick • Wright • Teicholz
Levitz • Pingel
‘This is a very fine release.’
Music for Two Guitars

Brasil Guitar Duo
‘The Brasil Guitar Duo offers vivacious, sensitive, clear, carefully balanced, and splendidly engineered performances that are technically impeccable and stylistically right on the money. A most enjoyable and stimulating release, and not just for guitar fans.’
‘This is a fine program of Tárrega gems, performed lovingly. It’s a beautiful disc and I heartily recommend it.’
Gapplegate Music Review
‘Celil Refik Kaya’s playing is impeccable.’
MusicWeb International
Guitar Music • 2

Halász • Torge • Bianchi
ensemble oktopus • Gourzi
‘Franz Halász … acquits himself with distinction in music that is demanding technically, intellectually, and aesthetically.’
American Record Guide

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