Review from Classical Guitar Planet:

3 Trio Sonatas By Johann Sebastian Bach
BWV 525 – BWV 529 – BWV 530
Arranged for Two Guitars by Gregg Nestor
Clear Note Publications – 2014 – Retail Price: $29.95

Gregg Nestor’s masterly arrangement of three of J. S. Bach’s Six Trio Sonatas, published by Clear Note Publications, has not left my music stand since arriving by mail last week. The choice of music, the skill of the arrangement, and the quality of the publication, all combine to make this a precious addition to my library of Bach works for guitar.

Bach historians, such as Philipp Spitta, recount that the six sonatas were intended to “complete the education of his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann.” Scored for pedal clavier with two manuals, and composed between 1722-1727, the music occupies the highest echelon of Bach’s work. Comparable in quality to the six violin sonatas, this music was evidently irresistible to Julian Bream, who recorded two of them (BWV 525 and BWV 529 with harpsichordist George Malcolm.

Mr. Nestor has arranged three of the sonatas for two guitars, with each guitar playing one of the clavier parts, as well an tastefully distributing the pedal bass among both players. Sonata I (BWV 525) has been transposed from E flat major to G major. This astute decision of key change makes the whole eminently more playable, and also adds to the expressive depth, especially of the second movement, an Adagio, played in E minor rather than C minor. The Adagio itself is one of the timelessly inspiring Bach slow movements, its heartbreakingly touching melody unfolding with the absolute genius of Bach’s greatest compositions.

There are many facets, in addition to the choice of music, that make this publication one that I think will endure for a very long time indeed. Among them, the musical engraving is first rate. The spacing, size of music font, notational detail, and the inclusion of separately bound individual parts, all contribute to making this a thoroughly first rate contribution to the guitar world.

Gregg Nestor’s fingerings, both as to technical and musical concepts, are indicative of his stature as a highly accomplished musician and guitarist. Personally, when I sight read new editions of guitar music, I am always wary that the fingerings will be problematic, and, with very few exceptions, even when the music is worthy of playing, I end up with a complete re-fingering due to the limitations of the arranger. No two guitarists will ultimately finger passages in the same way. But Gregg’s fingerings are truly an education and adventure of the best kind. It takes but a few measures to realize that the reader is in good hands, and that trust is not broken at any time.

I highly recommend this publication to every guitarist who loves Bach. Once you start in you will not be able to put it down. And before long, performers, teachers, and students everywhere will be getting together to study, play, perform, and hopefully record this music.

Jeffrey Goodman, May 6, 2014

Review from Duo Sonidos (Violin and Guitar):

Here is what they say about our arrangements of Three American Pieces by Lucas Foss and Danze Sauvage by Szymanowski:

…the Szymanowski came out incredible. We are extremely happy with it, and the Foss as well. … Thank you for your work and for sharing them with us! The new additions are making some interesting programs for us!

William Knuth, violin /Adam Levin, guitar Duo Sonidos

Review from Duo Kontaxakis-Ivanovich (Two Guitars):

This duo recently wrote us about our arrangements of three film music pieces: El Cid (Rózsa), Lydia (Rózsa/Tedesco) and Psycho (Herrmann):

Dear Gregg,

In the name of our Duo, I would like to thank you for sending us your fantastic arrangements and for your kindness of allowing us to play it in concerts. In last 10 days, we gave two recitals, in Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and in Belgrade (Serbia) where we performed El Cid, Lydia and Psycho music, and public’s reaction was thrilling!! Everyone loved the music and enjoyed it very much, especially us. It was a pleasure to play it, to work on it and to perform it. You made a fantastic work in orchestrating it and putting it on two guitars. Bravo! I send you the booklet from our concert in Tuzla in pdf. Once again, thank you for everything! Keep in touch.

Yours, Dejan

Four-Star Review and Special Merit Award for You Must Remember This Too CD

“One of the attractive things about this BSX release is that it pulls together familiar themes, often for two guitars now, as well as lesser known ones (like Korngold’s early song “My Love and I” from GIVE US THIS NIGHT), all in performances that sparkle.

Just looking at the film titles represented here, mostly from the Golden Age of Hollywood, might make one wonder just how these will translate into more intimate situations.”

“Overall You Must Remember This Too makes for an amazingly enjoyable near hour of fine music making. There are enough familiar tunes to help the hesitant be drawn into the disc as a listening experience.

It is a well-thought out program as well, that has enough variety to make it thoroughly enjoyable.

Highly recommended!”

–Steven A. Kennedy, Film Music Review, 23 July 2009

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Other reviews coming soon.