Publication's Style: Soft Cover
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
General Description: For the development of technical facility
Throughout musical history, studies (etudes) have been written for all instruments, purely as a musical form and to ensure that the instruments expressive potential is reached. The guitar is no exception to this practice and like all musical instruments it requires particular kinds of compositional approaches to satisfy this goal. In part, it is unique in that it possesses an astonishing range of sonic subtleties. It can produce the warm tones of the low frequencies, a variety of soaring colors from the higher end of the tonal spectrum, lilting melodies with tiny voice like vibratos and even percussive effects. Added to all this is its polyphonic capability. The utilization of this wealth of highly expressive and interpretive possibilities requires a well developed technical facility.
Many of the great masters who possessed this facility on our intimate and versatile instrument, came from the 19th century. Often called the golden age of the classical guitar, the 19th century produced works by Fernando Sor, Dionisio Aguado, Mauro Giuliani, Matteo Carcassi, Napoleon Coste, Luigi Legnani, and Fernando Carulli. All were virtuoso players and accomplished composers with a very clear idea of the technical prowess needed to play the styles of their day. Each of them produced an abundance of etudes and short works designed specifically to isolate technical hurdles into concentrated studies. These pieces, that are so pleasing to listen to, create a compelling link to the specific musical mannerisms of guitar's golden age, and serve as a strong foundation for the study of classical guitar even today.
From the list of artists above I've chosen twelve studies by Fernando Sor, Matteo Carcassi and Napoleon Coste. Outstanding musical gems, that since their time, have been used by countless guitarists in their quest for mastery. The path to technical and interpretive perfection can be long and arduous. The saving grace is that we get to hear the beauty of the guitar along the way and this keeps us ever inspired. I hope this edition of technical, but nonetheless very musical, studies will help guitarists everywhere along this journey.