Tárrega: Recuerdos for Guitar and Orchestra – Performance Edition

Possibly his most famous work, Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra) was composed in 1896 in Granada by Spanish composer and guitarist Francisco Tárrega. It uses the classical guitar tremolo technique of rapidly repeating melody notes in counterpoint to a slow bass line and accompanying arpeggio in the middle voice to create a three part work for solo guitar that is unparalleled in expressive texture and charm.

This edition of Recuerdos de la Alhambra includes an MPO recording. Clear Note MPO recordings bring audio support to professionals, amateurs, and students for educational, rehearsal, practice, personal enjoyment, live concerts, and casual performance settings.

 

Recuerdos de la Alhambra as a guitar and orchestra fantasia was adapted by Gregg Nestor, with synth/orchestration by award winning film multimedia composer Dominik Hauser. The guitar part is played by Stephen Robinson.

 

Debussy: Children’s Corner for Two Guitars

This time Gregg has created a delightful arrangement for two guitars of the well-known Children’s Corner by Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), one of the greatest French composers, studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1872, beginning to compose in earnest in his twenties. In the early 1880s he visited Moscow and Vienna and in 1884 won the Prix de Rome for his cantata L’enfant prodigue. The first version of his opera, Pelléas et Mélisande was written in 1895. In 1908 Debussy made his conducting debut in Paris with the symphonic sketches, La Mer. His prolific compositions include incidental music for the theater, a quantity of orchestral and chamber works, large scale vocal pieces with orchestra, dozens of songs, and some of the finest twentieth century pianoforte masterpieces.

The Children’s Corner consists of the following:

  • Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum
  • Berceuse des Éléphants
  • Sérénade a la Poupée
  • La Neige Danse
  • Le Petit Berger
  • Golliwog’s Cakewalk

On the score of CHILDREN’S CORNER, here arranged for duo guitars by Gregg Nestor, Debussy wrote a dedication for his daughter, Claude-Emma, five years old at the time of composition: To my dear little Chou chou, with her father’s affectionate apologies for what follows. Most of the Suite was written in 1908, with the exception of Serenade of the Doll which was published two years before. The titles of CHILDREN’S CORNER, perhaps in deference to his daughter’s English governess, are in Debussy’s somewhat idiosyncratic English.

Four Dances by W.H. Squire

In addition to his recent publication of W.H. Squire’s Tarantella, arranged for Guitar and Orchestra, Gregg has also put out two entertaining arrangements of Four Dances by W.H. Squire for violin and guitar and cello and guitar.  These pieces include the aforementioned Tarantella.  Here are the links where they are available: Four Dances for Violin and Guitar and Four Dances for Cello and Guitar. These are the dances:

  • Danse Rustique Op. 20, No. 5 (1895)
  • Bourrée Op. 24 (1902)
  • Sérénade Op. 15 (1892)
  • Tarantella Op. 23 (1896)

William Henry Squire (1871-1963) was a British cellist, composer and music professor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied cello at the Royal College of Music, and became professor of cello at the Royal College and Guildhall schools of music. He was principal cello in several major London orchestras and helped to popularize the cello as a solo instrument in the early years of the 20th century by giving public concerts throughout the British Isles and making recordings.

By the late 1890s, when Squire was employed by the Queen’s Hall Orchestra, he was already busy publishing a great deal of cello and piano music. He preferred to write small-scale works for one or two performers most likely written for cello students or for his own performances at London concert halls. His pieces for cello and piano can almost entirely be characterized as light, short “character pieces”. Several of his pieces were premiered at London’s Henry Wood Promenade Concerts with Squire himself often performing the solo cello part.

For this publication, arranger Gregg Nestor has chosen four youthful and contrasting dances by the composer that were composed for cello between 1892 – 1902, and arranged them for violin and guitar and cello and guitar.

The Danse rustique, Op. 20, No. 5 (1895) has been the second most popular Associated Board Musical Examination selection since it was first listed in the 1920 syllabus.

Bourrée, Op. 24 (1902) was first performed by the composer that same year at Bechstein Hall in London, as well as the gentle British vaudeville music-hall feel of the Sérénade, Op. 15 (1892) as additional items in a predominately vocal recital. Gregg Nestor has added the marking “Tempo de Sicilienne”, as a tip-of-the-hat to the French composer Gabriel Fauré, who was a great admirer of Squire’s warm and expressive playing, and who dedicated his popular Sicilienne to him.

Finally the Tarantella, Op. 23, (1896), has been the most popular Associated Board Musical Examination selection of W.H. Squire since first chosen in 1928.

These four pieces can be performed separately or together as a suite for concert purposes.

Squire:Tarantella for Gtr & Orch/Gtr & Piano

Gregg has made some delightful arrangements of British composer W.H.Squire’s Tarantella, Op. 23 for guitar and orchestra and guitar and piano.  The piece is available in several versions: the Basic Edition includes the guitar part and MPO audio download (full score optional); the Performance Edition has the guitar part, MPO, full score and orchestral parts; the Piano Edition comprises piano and guitar parts plus MPO.

William Henry Squire (1871-1963) was a British cellist, composer and music professor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He studied cello at the Royal College of Music, and became professor of cello at the Royal College and Guildhall schools of music. He was principal cello in several major London orchestras and helped to popularize the cello as a solo instrument in the early years of the 20th century by giving public concerts throughout the British Isles and making recordings.

By the late 1890s, when Squire was employed by the Queen’s Hall Orchestra, he was already busy publishing a great deal of cello and piano music. He preferred to write small scale works for one or two performers, most likely written for cello students or for his own performances at London concert halls. His pieces for cello and piano can almost entirely be characterized as light, short “character pieces”. Several of his pieces were premiered at London’s Henry Wood Promenade Concerts with Squire himself often performing the solo cello part.

The Tarantella, Op. 23, (1896), has been the most popular Associated Board Musical Examination selection of W. H. Squire since first chosen in 1928.

Aire de Joropo for Gtr & Orch: Video

Giulio Tampalini plays Gregg’s lively arrangement for guitar and chamber orchestra of the lighthearted folksong Aire de Joropo in Brescia, Italy.

Clear Note has published Gregg’s Music Plus One arrangement of Aire de Joropo for guitar and chamber orchestra that comes with a play-along CD. Joropo is a musical style resembling the fandango, and an accompanying dance. It has African, Native South American and European influences and originated in parts of what is now Venezuela. It is a fundamental genre of música criolla (creole music) and is a very popular folk rhythm making use of polyrhythmic patterns, especially of hemiola, and alternation of 3/4 and 6/8 tempos.

Aire de joropo has been a popular folk song played by classical guitarists for a number of years. This guitar and orchestra fantasy was arranged by Gregg Nestor as an encore piece for a London concert in 1980.

Méditation and Élégie for Violin and Guitar by Jules Massenet

Méditation and Élégie for Violin and Guitar by Jules Massenet

Gregg has created a fine arrangement of the Méditation and Élégie for Violin and Guitar by Jules Massenet.  These pieces, like most of Gregg’s work, have been published by Clear Note and are available here.

A True Romantic

Jules Massenet (1842 – 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.

From Schoolboy to Popular Composer

While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France’s principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he greatly admired. After winning the country’s top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but quickly became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years later he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets.

Opera Productions

Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Gregg’s Arrangements

Both the Méditation and the Élégie, here arranged for Violin and guitar by Gregg Nestor, remain one of the composers most beloved creations. They can be successfully programmed separately or together for concerts.

 

Respighi Suite No.1 for Guitar Quartet

Clear Note Logo just recently published Gregg’s lively arrangement of the Respighi Suite No.1 – Ancient Airs and Dances for guitar quartet. The printed score and parts come with an audio download for practice and learning.

Ancient Airs and Dances – Suite No. 1 – Ottorino Respighi – for Guitar Quartet

       Balletto detto „Il Conde Orlando“
       Gagliarda e La Volta
       Villanella „Orlando fa’ che ti raccordi“
       Passo Mezzo Bonissimo e Mascherada

Respighi’s Early Life

Ottorino Respighi (July 9, 1879 – April 18, 1936) was born in Bologna, Italy. He was taught piano and violin by his father, who was a local piano teacher. He continued studying violin and viola with Federico Sarti at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, composition with Giuseppe Martucci, and historical studies with Luigi Torchi, a scholar of early music. In 1900, Respighi went to Russia to be principal violist in the orchestra of the Russian Imperial Theatre in St Petersburg during its season of Italian opera; while there he studied composition for five months with Rimsky-Korsakov. He also had composition lessons with Max Bruch in 1902 in Berlin. Until 1908 his principal activity was as first violin in the Mugellini Quintet, before turning his attention entirely to composition.

Music Scholar and Composer

In his role as musicologist, Respighi was also an enthusiastic scholar of Italian music of the 16th-18th centuries, and was one of the first symphonic composers to have a strong interest in early music. He was actively involved in the modern editions of works by Monteverdi and other 17th- and 18th-century masters, and was fascinated by lute music from the Renaissance and early Baroque. This repertory had just become available in modern editions prepared by an Italian scholar named Oscar Chilesotti (1848-1916), a pioneer in the deciphering of the old lute notation (the so-called “tablature”). Chilesotti published several volumes of solo lute pieces and lute songs in modern scores, transcribing the accompaniment for piano in the spirit of the time.

Airs and Dances “Reverse Engineered” for Guitar Quartet

In arranging these “ancient airs and dances,” Respighi wanted to create instrumental parts that 20th-century orchestral players would find interesting. In a form of reverse engineering, guitarist Gregg Nestor has adapted two of these orchestral suites for guitar quartet.

Ponce: Seis Poemas Arcaicos & Estrellita (Voice & Gtr)

Seis Poemas Arcaicos

Clear Note has recently published Manuel Ponce’s song cycle Seis Poemas Arcaicos in a fine arrangement for voice and guitar by Gregg Nestor (with audio download). Along with these six lovely songs, this publication also includes Gregg’s rendition of Estrellita for voice and guitar. Estrellita is one of Ponce’s most famous songs.

This song cycle was composed in Mexico City in the year 1939. Chronologically in the context of Ponce’s eight song cycles, it occupies the next-to-last position, succeeded only by the cycle entitled Three Poems by Enrique González Martínez, written between 1939 and 1940.

The texts that served to inspire his compositions were gleaned from the Cancionero de Palacio, an ancient musical codex found in Madrid that had belonged to the Catholic kings and which comprised the broadest catalogue of polyphonic profane songs of the time period at the end of the 15th Century and the beginning of the 16th. This important codex was later published on two occasions: first in 1890, when it was edited by Spanish composer-musicologist Asenjo Barbieri (1824-1894), under the title Cancionero Musical de los siglos XV y XVI; and secondly, in 1947 and 1951, when it was edited by Catalonian musicologist Higinio Anglés (1888-1969). Ponce was familiar with the Barbieri edition, and indeed he possessed a volume of it in his private library.

Armando Merino Mexico, D. F., May, 2011

Estrellita

Ponce studied in Paris for a time, where he befriended Andrés Segovia, among others. He wrote more than forty works for the guitar, and fifty popular songs and song cycles. With its beautiful melody and poignant verse, his beloved Estrellita, arranged here by Gregg Nestor, is a classic in song literature.

Seis Poemas Arcaicos and Estrellita have been recorded by guitarist Gregg Nestor and soprano Anna Bartos on their CD Cantares (Townhall Records THCD-44).

Excellent Wild Dance CD by Duo Sonidos

*****This Wild Dance CD is currently #12 on Billboard Classical!

Wild Dance (Duo Sonidos)

Duo Sonidos, comprised of violinist William Knuth and guitarist Adam Levin, presents these wonderful arrangements for violin and guitar by Gregg Nestor Guitar, including excerpts for George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Much Ado About Nothing, Lukas Foss' Three American Dances, and John Williams' famous theme from Schindler's List.Discover: https://naxos.lnk.to/8574045FA#NEWonNAXOS"

Posted by Naxos on Thursday, February 21, 2019

Gregg’s Arrangements Featured

The Wild Dance CD collection, the first of three volumes by Duo Sonidos, unleashes a wellspring of exciting new transcriptions culled from the rich repertoire of vocal and violin chamber music, previously deemed unthinkable on the guitar. This colourful mosaic of 20th-century music, from Rodrigo’s affectionately lyrical Cuatro canciones sefardíes to John Williams’ haunting theme from the film Schindler’s List, unveils the hidden world of charm and intimate expressivity provided by Gregg Nestor’s skillful and sensitive arrangements.

Great Selection of Composers and Music

The complete list of composers on this CD is varied and impressive: Lukas Foss; George Gershwin; Erich Wolfgang Korngold; Manuel María Ponce; Maurice Ravel; Joaquín Rodrigo; Karol Szymanowski; John Williams. The music is equally varied and impressive. For example, you will find wonderful arrangements of old favorites like Gershwin’s It Ain’t Necessarily So and less well-known but delightful pieces like Wild Dance by Szymanowski. It is a joy to hear the fine interpretations of these composers by Duo Sonidos with William Knuth on violin and Adam Levin on guitar.

Where You Can Get This Fine CD

This exciting Wild Dance CD from Naxos Records is available on Amazon here in various formats: streaming, mp3 or audio CD. In addition, you can find information and audio clips from the CD at Naxos Classical.