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Classic Williams: Romance of the Guitar

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 2, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The finest moments from 30 years and 30-plus recordings by classical guitar legend (not film composer) John Williams! Includes his gorgeous arrangements of pieces by Bach, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, De Falla, Satie, Barrios, Piazzolla, Albeniz and more-plus three new tracks recorded especially for this CD!

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Guitarist John Williams (no, not John Williams the soundtrack composer) adds to his fine catalog of impeccable recordings with Classic Williams: Romance of the Guitar. But this isn't just a best-of collection (though some of his greatest work is included here) since the disc contains three new recordings. Among the new tracks, Fauré's Pavane is a real stunner, a short but gorgeous piece originally meant for orchestra and choir, where Williams's guitar sounds as though it always belonged there. We get Williams at his most interpretative--his arrangements of Satie's Gymnopedie No. 3 and Piazzolla tango Verano porteno--and his most serene (the "Cavatina" theme from the movie Deer Hunter). Let's face it, some fine classical guitarists can lull their listeners into near comatose states with their instrument; Williams, on the other hand, is just the opposite. His gorgeous tone, inventive arrangements, and interesting repertoire continue to make the classical guitar sound exciting. In short, a great introduction to Williams and a real gem for lovers of classical guitar. --Jason Verlinde
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Product Details

  • Performer: John Williams, Johann Sebastian Bach, Astor Piazzolla
  • Conductor: William Goodchild
  • Composer: Gabriel Faure, Agustin Barrios-Mangore, Isaac Albeniz, Mikos Theodorakis, Domenico Scarlatti, et al.
  • Audio CD (May 2, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004T0P4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,878 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I hesitated to buy this CD because I have several other Williams CDs with many of the works featured on this one. However, I was too curious about the 3 new recordings. "Romanza", I'm afraid to say is not that interesting, although it's an ideal piece for beginning guitar students. Faure's Pavane and the arrangement of "El Condor Pasa," on the other hand, are fabulous. Williams' performance of Myers' Cavatina completely obliterates the notion that Williams plays with little emotion. Included are several other works that I consider among my favorites such as the exuberant "Sunburst," the passionate "Verano Porteno," the charming "Natalia," and the dreamy "Berceuse" (enough emotion there for ya?). I would have replaced some of the pieces for others that I believe are Williams classics. However, if you don't have a Williams CD and are curious, this CD and the Seville Concert CD would make a great introduction to a truly phenomenal musician.
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Format: Audio CD
Many of the tracks here are from previous releases by Williams, but don't let this deter you from purchasing (I nearly did, almost missing a brilliant music programme and really fine performances by the artist). Romance, the first piece, is unusual and stunning; it segues charmingly into the Pavane, so you very nearly have two side-by-side tracks that flow into one another, one fulfilling the promises made in the first. Next, music that is gentle or lively, but always exactly as the title of the CD states -- romantic, so it pulls at the senses at the same time that it evokes all the possibilities of great music. The Cavatina will leave you aching for more. And two of my favorites, in my opinion Williams' best performances, Asturias, and the final track, the Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez, are lively and tonally perfect. Just as mentioned in the Editorial Review above, Williams' music is gorgeous -- he is able to arouse sounds from his guitar that demonstrate his status as the highest master of his instrument. These are the sort of performances where an artist becomes one with his instrument, in fact, since they flow out from the strings so beautifully, with a perfection and emotion that you rarely hear with other guitarists. If you like guitar at all, or even if you are curious, don't neglect this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
In Japan, recently classical guitar is boom, because young Japansese artists emerge. Off course not only Japanese guitarists but also foreign guitarists, is known in Japan. For instance, Andrew York is that. But the most famouse guitarist in foreign gutarists will be A.Segobia and J,Williams. The former is needless to say, about the latter, long ago I was shocked about new style, that is, the combination of electric guitar and classicas guitar. I think that he is top of the classical guitarist, on the other hand a revolutional guitarist that break the established old style.
The music songs included in the CD is variety, that is, in history Baropue, Roman, recently music, in place Spanish, south america etc.
Therefore the CD will be favorite thing for people that don't know about classical guitar.
Off course in the CD, we will be listen to his ultimate skill, in [Nataria}, in spite of the difficult left fingars touch, he play the song in high speed tempo, beautiful sound.
Thank you for reading my poor writing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you had to call modern classical guitar by another name, it would be John Williams. A student of none other than the brilliant Andres Segovia himself, John has shown over the years to have learnt a great deal from the master and has himself developed simply impeccable technique.

As a guitarist myself who has been struggling all these years with "Cavatina", it always amazes me how effortlessly John makes the tune sound so simple and as if two guitarists are playing, one for the accompanyment and one for the melody and yet it's all him! Not only are the tracks representative of John's great talent but they also represent some of the most famous and challenging pieces to play.

Another great example of this is "Asturias(Leyenda) by Albeniz, a hauntingly beautiful and deceptively simple-sounding piece. We also get pieces that span the centuries from J.S. Bach and Vivaldi to Stanley Myers and York ending with the brilliant second movement of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez".

Although the sound quality isn't brilliant as some tracks sound better mastered than others, overall this is a great one disc introduction to John Williams' work and comes highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This album builds a tapestry of diversity, depth, and breadth that few artists can emote as Williams has. His love for the music of the guitar and willingness to lovingly and abundantly share it differentiates Williams as a unique spirit. Many of his contemporaries would do well to study at his feet and realize the exhilarating joy of performing for the sake of, and beauty of, the art as Williams freely and unpretentiously reveals. You will be lifted up to a rarely experienced aural realm by this masterpiece of passion, grace, joy, and love. Truly, this work is a genuine monument and praise to all who have contributed to Williams' transcendence to the consummate performer and artist he has become.
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