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The Guitarist

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 2011
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Product Description

The Guitarist / John Williams

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Music both old and new, but all of it inspired by the timeless modal harmony of medieval and Mediterranean cultures: this is the subject of John Williams's brilliant guitar disc for Sony, which also features his debut as a composer. The main work is his own "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, based on both original and 14th-century tunes (one of which, the "Saltarello," appeared on early-music pioneer David Munrow's disc called Instruments of the Middle Ages). The suite is a lovely piece of writing, deftly composed, and neither tacky nor pretentious. It's paired with an inspired assortment of spiritually related but diverse arrangements and original pieces by Satie, Theodorakis, Domeniconi, and an emotionally intense four-movement work called "Stélé," by Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Naturally, Williams performs each piece expertly, but most important, he makes his instrument sing, and that's just what the music demands. Simply super. --David Hurwitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Three Epitafios
  2. Epitafios 3
  3. Epitafios 4
  4. Epitafios 5
  5. Koyunbaba
  6. Koyunbaba Part 1
  7. Koyunbaba Part 2
  8. Koyunbaba Part 3
  9. Koyunbaba Part 4
  10. Gymnopedie No. 3 (For Guitar And Small Orchestra)
  11. Lamento Di Tristan
  12. Ductia
  13. Saltarello
  14. Aeolian Suite For Guitar And Small Orchestra
  15. I. Aeolian Chant
  16. II. Double Dance
  17. III. Ballad
  18. IV. Toccata
  19. Stele
  20. I. Stele
  21. II. Dervish
  22. III. Bronze Apollo
  23. IV. Web
  24. Gnossienne No. 1
  25. Gnossienne No. 2


Product Details

  • Performer: John Williams [guitar]
  • Conductor: William Goodchild
  • Composer: John Williams, Anonymous, Carlo Domeniconi, Philip Houghton, Erik Satie, et al.
  • Audio CD (April 20, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000C28V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's John Williams (Guitarist) Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
John Williams is simply the greatest classical guitarist of our time. No one has recorded a greater variety of classical guitar music, nor has anyone attained the consistent technical excellence of Mr. Williams. His recent recordings are very "warm." I would also like to recommend "From the Jungles of Paraguay," in which Mr. Williams records only works of Augustin Barrios. Both discs are standouts. For the neophyte, I would recommend "From the Jungles of Paraguay." For the more adventurous, "The Guitarist" is a fine, if serious, recording. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
The greatest tribute any artist can give to their instrument is to take it beyond where they found it. Mr. Williams has certaintly done this here. My personal favorites are the 'Three Epitafios' by Mikis Theodorakis, named after Pre Easter services in the Greek Orthodox Church. This is certainly a wonderful addition to the classical guitar repertoire by the esteemed Theodorakis. Composer Carlo Domeniconi,s 'Koyumbaba' is in perfect contrast to the Epitafios. With its haunting C sharp minor tuning this suite of pieces has an almost middle eastern oud quality. The 'Aeolian Suite' is Mr. William,s own composition for guitar and Orchestra and proves himself equal to the composers listed on this recording. As with his other recordings he transports the classical guitar to new avenues of technic and substance. Not allowing it to become stagnet or a monument to the Segovia legacy. In addition, the guitar that Greg Smallman made (which is used on this cd) sounds superb. This is another one of Mr. William's excellent performences.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just recently introduced to this outstanding classical guitarist, I remain thirsty for more of his fine recordings.
This is just a delightful compilation of some composers am already familiar with (i.e. Satie and Houghton) but to my great joy introduced me to the wonderful compositions for guitar and small orchestra of Theodorakis, Domeniconi and Williams himself with a knockout piece entitled "Aeolian Suite for Guitar and Small Orchestra."
This is such lyrical and flowing sounds. Stimulating to listen to and continue to gain appreciation for this talented artist and composers.
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By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I am embarassed to say that I had forgotten John Williams' absolute mastery of the guitar. His selections for this album are a sharp and delightful contrast from the usual repetoire -- they include fine works from composers from the modern and the medieval, including one by Williams himself. It is an absorbing and varied program, performed with the impeccable musicianship one expects.
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Format: Audio CD
This is yet another fantastic work from the legendary John Williams. Here he breaks new ground with an all Mediterranean album completely eschewing his earlier Spanish work. Particularly moving are his transcriptions for guitar of Satie's works for solo piano. His semi-original composition, "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, (his own writing combined with traditional) is hauntingly good. This is his best work since the joint effort Sky albums of the '70's and '80's.
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By A Customer on August 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"The" Guitarist, John Williams. I rated this a 4 star only because I'm not that crazy about the Houghton compositions and the last set of Gymnopedies. But, John Boy, please compose for us another fine guitar work (with or without orchestra)! Aeolian Suite is mighty fine--the more I hear it, the more I like it. I first heard Koyunbaba performed by Christopher Parkening in a concert in 1996, but was I delighted to find out that Williams had recorded this mesmerizing work a few years later. I also really like the Epitafios. But as I said, I hope Williams composes another work for a future recording. By the way, happy 60th birthday, Mr. Williams. We look forward to another decade of fine music from you.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As always, Williams's playing and choices are top-notch, and there is a great mix of guitar solos and guitar+ensemble, so I enjoy listening to this CD often. Why only two stars? My Sony CD lists the cuts--but nowhere on the whole CD does it credit the composers! Most of us know that Domeniconi wrote "Koyunbaba" and probably we could find the composers of most of the other cuts using Google, but why no notes on the pieces, the composers, anything like that? Is Sony saving big bucks by omitting this information?

Anyway, as Amazon suggests, I would have wanted to know, before buying this CD, that they didn't list the composers or include any liner notes about the pieces and composers.
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By A Customer on October 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I just received this album in the mail. I was expecting the standard fantastic John Williams album. Instead I got an album where John Williams exceeds his own standards. I don't know what impresses me more on this album, the guitar playing or the compositions.
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