Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

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Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Dave Flynn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Hi,

It has been nearly ten years since I was seriously studying classical guitar. I kind of left that world to go into the more general world of music and composition.

At the time I enjoyed playing and listening to music by composers like Brouwer, Bodgdanovic, Dyens, Koshkin and Domeniconi. Composers' who I felt created interesting new compositions which were contemporary and accessible yet still stood up in the general music world.

Since I've been out of the classical guitar game a bit I'm wondering if anyone could recommend newer pieces which are fresh and of the same quality as Brouwers 'Le Decameron Negro', Koshkin's 'Usher Waltz', Dyens 'Libra Sonatine' and Domeniconi's 'Koyunbaba'?

Any exciting new composers for the guitar?

Dave
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby David_Norton » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:52 pm

This man, from Poland:

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=57603

Wow.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Jeff Kross » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:38 am

Sergio Assad continues to produce interesting and at times gorgeous works. I just picked up his "Seis Brevidades," composed in 2008. I'm working on "Chuva" and "Cantiga," which are particularly lovely; the other four are somewhat knuckle-busting. (Odair plays the six on his recent solo CD, "Caminante.") Come to think of it, there are other composers who wrote new works for Odair on that CD, including Kevin Callahan and Egberto Gismonti.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Bernhard Heimann » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:14 am

Hi Dave,

the works of Dale Kavanagh might be well worth to try.

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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby David » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm

There's a few downunder:

Philip Houghton
Richard Charlton
Peter Sculthorpe
Ross Edwards

Plus the guitarists, Ken Murray & Gareth Koch have written some excellent pieces.

Found an interesting lists of composers for CG, here.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby LVR » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:59 pm

You may enjoy works by Dusan Bogdanovic.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby christos » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:08 pm

I 'd love to be so optimistic , inspirational and of the best attitude (for those familiar with MOJO / NOJO most recent attributes by management ...gurus) but when you ask for equally great works (to the ones you mention) and you get general proposals mostly about composers , I'm afraid that you already know the answer!
For me this was the most fruitless decade of the last ...100 years in terms of guitar composing or even arranging , while the blend of all these different music genres might be so easily communicated in nowadays for inspiring and refreshing the music language.

It might even concern sociologists in a more extended point of view about art in general , for instance how many popular music albums , or even movies can you easily distinguish comparing to the great ones of earlier decades , a difficult question even for most self-conceited young journalists and relevant magazines that cease to ... exist through their own "discoveries" of (mostly) fake masterpieces !

I'll have to repeat it here once again as "a sign of the times" , one of the most significant , if not the best Greek guitar work "Suite from Magnus Eroticus" by Manos Hadjidakis is struggling to be ...published about a dosen years now and the interest about guitar music seems to decrease in a geometric progression (despite the high number of guitar recordings from remarkable new guitarists), another example is all this talk or expectation about a future publication of Pat Metheny's arrangements by Jason Vieaux that tends to become more of a hoax, although there is such a high interest recorded in so many different topics.

Mainly Assad , a composer of a high potential (and quite secondary Bogdanovic) may retain a certain level of quality in their most recent works but I'm not sure if they can reach again their own peak, inspiration seeks (or even starves?) to be revealed again !
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Praeludium » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:34 am

The interest for guitar seems actually quite high nowadays - it's just that there are so much different things happening at the same time in different places that we can't see clear through this.

Michael Karmon, member here, and guitarist as well as composer, is writing for guitar. On YT you can find Denian Arcoleo, also member here, playing his Sonatina California.
It's not really the music I prefer, but it's definitely very well written.

Jeremiah Lawson, also member of this forum, is composer. You can find some of his works here.


Apart from that, Elena Casoli, Pablo Marquez, David Starobin, etc. work a lot with composers in order to get new music for the guitar. You might want to have a look to what they do, even if given the works you appreciate I don't think you'll be a huge fan of this music.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Les Backshall » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:42 am

I would encourage you to have a look at the music of Gary Ryan.

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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby PaulHardy » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:19 pm

christos wrote:For me this was the most fruitless decade of the last ...100 years in terms of guitar composing or even arranging...

the interest about guitar music seems to decrease in a geometric progression


Hmmm... it's tempting to think that in the internet age we are all up to date and informed very quickly, but the newest music takes a while to be assimilated -- even the most over-played & over-recorded guitar works of an era seem to have a 15+ year lag before they take off. So it's impossible to say what has been written in the last decade which will take the guitar fraternity by storm.

A quick unscientific test at sheerpluck.de doesn't support the idea of a decline in interest; here's the gross number of compositions for solo guitar noted there by decade:

1940-49: 79
1950-59: 130
1960-69: 358
1970-79: 970
1980-89: 1712
1990-99: 2274
2000-09: 2169

When all the data is collected I'm sure the noughties will surpass the nineties in number. By Sturgeon's Law* there should already be about 217 good compositions from the noughties, but it may take us one or two decades to identify them.

I think the interest in art music per se has become more niche -- I suggested here http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66264 that interest in guitar music in the 1960s & '70s was probably disproportionately high, so now it has got a realistic slice of a smaller cake. But global communication means that "niche" interest groups can find each other much more easily than before, so at the same time as global interest declines mutually interested parties nurture each other much more than before.

And don't forget the 1990 composition "White Night Serenades" by Grigori Korchmar got a recording in 2011!

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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby christos » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:32 am

Paul, I wish you were right with your quite interesting comments but Í´m afraid that statistics do not always tell the truth and the question was not about just good compositions but for any exceptionally great ones, all these 4 excellent choices from the mid-80s that were initially mentioned by Dave did not need for sure a 15+ year lag for their own take off, they had a very fast recognition to become widely known, favourite or over-recorded even from the early 90s (for avoiding to compare them only in terms of quality that always contains a subjective dimension).

Do we have such characteristic examples from the noughties , especially when there are certainly quite more active composers and remarkable guitarists with continually improving education and more possibilities to publicize their own works ?

It's not only a matter of quantity with more composers or guitar works in the 00s for trying to prove that the public interest for guitar music is increasing while even the tendency of mass-culture is completely different , for instance, if in their own era Jimi Hendrix or Francis Ford Coppola (e.g. with Godfather) were almost "mainstream" , what are their relative ones in nowadays ? (I would not dare to think of !)

Ι gave you two characteristic examples of highly remarkable unpublished works that struggle to find their way through the reluctance from Publishing Companies, it seems that their "commercial" value (that gives us a clue of what they estimate that meets public interest) is not that high any more , despite their artistic significance.
Just think of the activity of GSP (that gave us great stuff in the 80s & 90s) , is it the same in nowadays ?

Could you easily think of any daring recent publication of new -or even older- stuff with a relevant commercial "success story" ? (as another example, just take a look on these great Solo guitar works 1 & 2 by Ralph Towner , I doubt if there will ever be a 3rd book although he's made much more great solo guitar music in a genre with a very few fellow artists!).
Hopefully there might be some exceptions just to confirm the rule !
Last edited by christos on Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby PaulHardy » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:29 am

It was actually Koyunbaba I was thinking of when I spoke of the time lag. It is an interesting case in that John Williams heard it being played by students in China & then decided to pick it up. His release was in 1998 -- I can't say from experience but I doubt it had a vast amount of traction before then.

This is an important element of the story -- endorsement by the big names. Usher Waltz was published in 1984 and began to be played reasonably quickly, but again the influence of Williams in recording it for the Seville Concert (1993) undoubtedly gave it more prominence. Guitarists are prone to following the lead of a big name in choosing new repertoire, and Williams is now concentrating on familiar work, extra-mural collaborations, and his own compositions. That's fair enough - he's paid his dues. But this along with Bream's retirement means I can't think of one name who is endorsing new works who is a touchstone for other guitarists. Can anyone? Perhaps Russell is a big enough name but he doesn't tend to champion new works so much. Bungarten has the kudos but seems to be intent on rediscovering & re-invigorating established repertoire (24 caprichos de Goya, Ponce sonatas etc)

Also, these 4 compositions from the '80s represent the exception not the rule (4 out of 1700?) and much more from the '80s will become acculturated as core repertoire in time. As soon as something comes along to displace b***y ubiquitous Piazzola I'll be happy!

Caution infests all classical music today, after a weird late boost after 1990 and the Three Tenors at the World Cup: the following year Bizet's Pearl Fishers duet was used to advertise 2nd tier football TV coverage in the UK! Nowadays my home city, which boasts an international piano competition, international concert season (very conservative, lately) and a regional opera company, can't support a specialist vendor of classical music recordings. You are right about cautious publishing houses I agree, but that surely affects all music publishing and always has. Your examples make the case one way, surely Jeremiah Lawson's Fm Sonata argues the reverse? New music will always struggle for an outlet, but I am optimistic in that it's been that way for 100 years and eventually many works of merit will force their way out. Whereas you seem to be pessimistic that everything is in decline and it was better in the old days -- which I always refuse to accept.

To take the long view -- Antonio Jose's sonata was not only unknown but not even imagined for 60 years, but now boasts a number of recordings!
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby christos » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:32 am

Paul , I'm not that pessimistic although I'm from ... Greece (and I'm proud of that !) , I only try to read the "current stream" and I certainly also "refuse to accept" that it will always sail on that direction, in fact if I was a pianist I would not even care if there will ever be any new book , there's already a huge repertoire of excellent stuff from various genres (you only need some dozen of ...lifes to hear it) , it is only the guitar repertoire that in my personal opinion starves for new, fresh material.

I never "trusted" Russell for new stuff promotion, William Kanengiser would be my personal preference as a role model for being "classical cool".

Just a final example , Gregg Nestor has an exceptional activity in the last decade as an arranger of a "parallel universe" film composers (Miklos Rozsa , Henry Mancini , Franz Waxman or Max Steiner) , will we ever be lucky to see such relative courageous works published, and from the other side do we ourselves support such efforts ?
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Toccata » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:10 pm

Nikita Koshkin's 24 Preludes and Fugues will be a major addition to the repertoire as soon as they are published. The few that are available on YouTube sound wonderful. Here are five of them played by his wife (he has focal dystonia and cannot play them), who plans to record them on CD soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nUuvxGdLGk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnQJqAxQMiY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDxYmhze5Do
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45-o8NxFIX0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU0KpbgDpvw
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Re: Any really good new works for guitar in last ten years?

Postby Penn » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:54 pm

Simone Iannarelli
Jaime Mirtenbaum Zenamon
Arthur Kampela
etc etc.
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