Recommend classical guitar albums

Prelude in A Minor, Ave Maria in A Major, Suite Intima....stuff like that. any other suggestions?

i should have said compilations

Whose Prelude? You talking a Bach transcription?

If so... get Philip Hii's recording, "Bach: New Transcriptions for Guitar". He's able to pull off unimaginable things, musically, with chops as good as anyone.

Get whichever John Williams compilation appeals to you. (Note: for those who don't know, this is not the same John "Star Wars" Williams conductor dude, but the Australian guy who plays classical guitar as well as anyone ever has). I'd recommend "Classic Williams" for a starting point. I love his recording of Venezuelan music, as well (exact title escapes me, but you can't miss it).

Naxos has a series of award (like, festival award) winner "debut" recordings, some which are really special. Edit -- these are in what is called "The Laureate Series". Jason Viaux and Antigone Goni, for two. There's a little hungarian girl whose name escapes me who is the sickest speed-demon of the lot, too (not my favorite to listen to, actually, except for when in an athletic mood)

Christopher Parkening's "In the Classic Style" is pretty damned great.

You only interested in solo guitar? Concertos? Duos?

Sergio and Odair Assad make some of the best classical guitar duet records -- they're individually astounding, and have been playing together since they were little kids. The best at this sort of thing.

Benjamin Verdery did a great record with steel-string player, William Coulter, too. But this might be further afield from what you're looking for.

John Williams, playing Bach, live at the Alhambra

And an original piece, played by Benjamin Verdery, "Prelude and Wedding Dance".

Full-disclosure: I think this guy is one of the rarified greats, but I'm biased because he was (many, many years ago) my teacher.

Whose Prelude? You talking a Bach transcription?

Yes sorry about that

Duos definetly, can you tell me more about Sergio and Odair Assad? I have a duo that play Pachelbel's - Canon In D Major on a compilation album that i have, and in my opinion it is just a very pure form of music, absolutly beautiful. I do not have the artist's names however. And i have a excerpt from Concerto De Aranjez that is done by a duo that just relaxes the heck out of me.

i am going to go out and get Christopher Parkening's "in the classical style" today and check it out (i hope i can find it)

is john williams a solo artist?

<a href=>Philip Hii</a>

Philip Hii really cool stuff i linked the samples above

Much appreciated Mr. Ali

Philip Hii

didn't link for some reason

i really wish i could play like that absolutly awesome

The Assads are two brother from Brazil, and they're just the most seamless. There are other guitar duos -- like, there are two recordings by two of 'the greatest ever', Julian Bream and John Williams; they're good, but... because the Assads have literally grown up playing together, they have something really remarkable.

A lot of their recordings are of Latin American music; but not only. Like, the Baroque recording, "Sergio & Odair Assad Play Rameau, Scarlatti, Couperin, Bach" is just amazing, and beautiful. Assad Baroque

On the other hand, for more modern (still very accessible) Latin American music, maybe try "Music for Two Guitars" Assad Latin

Or, not much to choose between that and this, I guess:

Assad Latin, diffferent

Sergio does composing, too, so sometimes other people play his music, and sometimes you'll find a solo soundtrack recording, etc. But for classical guitar duos, I think they're just the best of the best.

They have a sister who;s really good, too, Badi Assad (and pretty hot!) but she plays a lot more original music and some pop stuff, not so much just straight up classical, though the instrument is a classical guitar.

John Williams is a solo artist; but as mentioned above, he did some duet records with Julian Bream (called, imaginatively, "Julian and John" and "Julian and John II"), has done several concertos (including at least two, now, of the Concerto de Aranjuez) and various and sundry other ensembles. He has a lot of things commissioned etc -- really, he's the foremost classical guitarist alive, and has been since Segovia's declining years. Not to say he's everyone's favorite, but... you can't say anyone's better.

There are always the Romeros... 4 Brothers (mostly Angel and Pepe) and their dad (Celodonio). You find things with them as the 4, the 5, and solo Angel or Pepe, mostly. Certainly for Spanish music, they're great. Not sure where to tell you to go to check them out, though -- there's a lot.

And there is a nice 2CD compilation of various guitarists... I think just called "Essential Guitar: 33 pieces" or something like that, which will give a range of players.

There's also a French guy, whose name I'll try to remember and post later, that I like a lot; he plays classical very well, but also has a bit of "young buck" edge -- occasionally does a Zappa transcription, and improvises some of his own stuff. Very all around. And it's frustrating that his name is not coming to me....

Got it! Roland Dyens is the guy I was trying to think of. This is a cool recording:

Roland Dyens

I discovered him through liner notes to a recording by Elena Papandreou; she's also really, really good. Papandreou, like Jason Viaeux and Antigone Goni (and lots of others) was one of these festival winner guys--or girls, more properly.... all of them have recordings in "The Laureate Series" on the (budget label) Naxos. It's worth checking those out -- cheap! Denis Azabagic is another good one in that series.

Wow... a quick youtube search, and I found Roland Dyens doing a transcription of a Chopin waltz. This stuff shouldn't be playable on guitar....

I never swear on the SG but SHIT! Listening to and watching Roland Dyens just made my head do a 360 like linda blair in the exorsist!

He's a monster, obviously. Everyone I've mentioned on this thread is, honestly -- not everything available on youtube, but ALL of these people can make your head do a Linda Blair.

I love Dyens in part because he is so capacious -- he's done recordings of Django Reinhardt, originals, classical....

And IMO the greatest ever was Leo Brouwer, who is known as a composer -- he just didn't get out of Cuba too often to tour. Then he hurt his hands, and doesn't play any more. The only available reocordings I know of are very weird, modern music.... in the LP era he had a few things that were available on vinyl on DG. I wish that stuff would come back into print; he's another one, sort of like Dyens in terms of also transcribing impossible things (Scarlatti and Rachmaninoff....) doing originals (the foremost composer for guitar alive, I think), Beatles transcriptions....

Anyway, yeah, Dyens is a 'find' on youtube all right!

Now, get that Hii Bach CD if you're interested in just physically impossible chops. That's one of the bigger Linda-Blair-moment recordings ever. I wish there was some video....

A'right... one more post before I go...

just FYI, several of these people are big fish in the very small pond of classical guitar fans; for those who are not intensely involved, only a few are the real "big names". I'm sure I'm leaving people out, but just to get the lineage down:

the granddaddy is Andres Segovia. (Many of those recordings are not my favorite for a variety of reasons, but he's the guy who made classical guitar a force. Really). Most fans prefer his playing of spanish music to things like his Bach, but.... tastes vary.

The first generation of Segovia students basically gave us the Three Big (living) guys: Julian Bream, John Williams, Christopher Parkening.

Very slightly later on the scene came (the demonically speedy) Eliot Fisk.

There are others who are contemporaneous that are on that level -- Brouwer, certainly, though he's known primarily as a composer for political reasons, Sergio Abreu, recordings seem to be out of print. Manuel Barrueco is one of the biggies. Alirio Diaz, Angel Romero, Pepe Romero, and their dad and brothers... Spain has its own set of guitar heroes, Diaz and Romeros among them -- so huge in different parts of the world.

Some guys are more known among players because, while astounding, they're making livings as educators primarily, and performers secondarily Benjamin Verdery is one, but also guys like Fredric Hand and Philip deFremery.... probably nowadays Fisk too (Yale faculty).

And now.... there's such a huge number of younger people, like all those Naxos "Laureate" series folks I mentioned -- and plenty I didn't mention; also Ricardo Cobo, Eduardo Fernandes, dozens I haven't kept up with....

Dyens and Hii were real 'finds' for me -- not nearly as well-known as the above folks, though again worshipped among aficionados.

I'll shut up now... just wanted to get out mostly that Segovia-through-Fisk or Barrueco set of names as standard people. People who don't know anything often can name Segovia, Williams, Bream, Parkening. That's just the way the pantheon falls.

Thank you very much Ali! I will definetly can't wait to expand my library and catch up on all of the persons you mentioned above. Pretty incredible thank you very much for your help. How did you run across Philip Hii? Always awesome to dicover new artists

I met a guy in grad school who was a pretty decent brazilian-music guitar guy. I knew a bit of what he was into (Bola Sete, Baden Powell) and he knew a bit of classical stuff -- the instruments and technique are really similar. We were both big Egberto Gismonti and Assad-brother fans. Anyway, he just asked me if I'd ever heard of Philip Hii. I hadn't. Forgot about it for a long time -- didn't even know how to spell his name. Then saw a CD when I was browing a Tower Records, and bought it just based on recollection of that conversation.

Glad that all helps. I haven't really studied in a long time, so I know there are names of newer-generation people.... I think that Naxos series kind of caught me up a bit, but not entirely.

Oh yeah....

Just because they always get their own categories... Sharon Isbin is probably the foremost woman classical guitarist; Liona Boyd is fairly well known, but she's done a lot of crossover, played with rock people, has album covers of her riding across a meadow on a horse with a guitar in her hands.... she used to be rather pretty. I never liked her stuff. (Isbin's played with Steve Vai, too, but this is not her bread and butter). Elena Papandreou, mentioned above, might be my favorite, though she's not nearly as visible as those two. Nor is Antigone Goni who is excellent, and the "little girl" speed-demon I mentioned is Ana Vidovic. I have no idea how her playing is maturing, but she might be one to watch. And one that is always compared to Eliot Fisk, but I haven't really heard, is Nicola Hall.

There's also a technical-monster guy from Japan named something or other Yamashita, I don't know his records. And quite possibly the best known ensemble nowadays is the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

There are still more names -- guys who run the classical-divisions of labels and such, who are also really good players.... A few German guys I didn't think about earlier.... I can think of a few more, but this is already out of hand! Wanted to mention the women, though.

Ok... one of these young guys I discovered because of the "Laureate series" on a budget label was Denis Azabagic. I used to play this piece (this is the third movement) -- Barrios' "La Catedral". I did not play it this well. Maybe I dreamt of playing it this well. This is guy is really, really good....

wow i literaly clapped out loud when he finished everone in the office is looking at me wondering whats is wrong with me

Ana Vidovic seems to be growing up real nice....

A William Walton Bagatelle. She plays this faster than others.... in this case, I think it works really well.

And she does Paganini.... holy crap this is some playing:

This is one of the old warhorses... I'm a bit bored by it in the sense that I am of, say "Stairway to Heaven".... but it's a nice show-piece. Isaac Albeniz' "Asturias". And she can play. In case you hadn't noticed yet!

OK, I am now an Ana fan. Maybe not the best of the best, but damn close. And probably the best looking of the best ;-)