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March 20, 2007 "Performer/Composers"
<Listen Online Now>

This week's edition of Classical Guitar Alive! is devoted to music by performer/composers, and features interviews with several of today's leading virtuoso guitarist composers, including Michael Nicolella, John Williams, Sergio Assad, Roland Dyens.

The program begins with an interview recorded in November 2005 with Seattle-based guitarist-composer Michael Nicolella, who discusses the form of his Toccata and Fugue.

Guitarist John Williams notes that composers of the past (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) were all also performers. He also points out that performer/composers usually avoid the compositional failures that befall non-performers. A modern "hit" with public radio listeners, his "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and orchestra is from his 1998 Sony CD release "The Guitarist."

In an interview with the French-Tunisian guitarist Roland Dyens, he relates his goal as a composer: to make an emotional impact upon the non-music specialist listener with a well-crafted art. He laments the "stupid idea" of the division of composers and performers. In a live recording from the historic 1998 Stetson Guitar Festival in Deland, Florida, Dyens performs one of his unpublished and unrecorded works, the strikingly original and inventive "Variations on G#".

Composer and Grammy-winning LA Guitar Quartet member Andrew York discusses the meaning of the title of his piece "Transilience" for flute, guitar, and cello, and how it differs from most of his solo guitar compositions. Guitarist Kim Perlak is joined by flutist Yong Clark, and cellist Cathy Anderson in a 2005 recording at Yale University.

One of the world's greatest living guitarist-composers is also a member of the world's foremost guitar duos. Sergio Assad relates how he was driven to abandon composition twice while a student, due to the pervasive influence of avant-gardists in 70's academia. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg joins the Assad Duo in Sergio's "Gypsy Songs" for violin and two guitars.

The program concludes with "Cancion de Cuna" (Cradle Song) composed and performed by one of Europe's best-selling classical guitarists, Kaare Norge, from Denmark.

Public Radio Satellite System uplink:
Wednesday, March 20, 2007 at 1300 ET Channel: A68.1

Program ID# 07-D65-00012
Title: Performer/Composers
Total length: 58:23

In Cue: MUSIC IN "Hello and welcome to.."
Out Cue: MUSIC IN "...another edition of Classical Guitar Alive!"
Program Length: 58:23


Bizet: Carmen Suite: Prelude
Los Romeros (Philips 412-609)


Interview excerpt: Michael Nicolella:
"It all came from this germ of an idea... ...became the main theme of the subject."

Nicolella: Toccata and Fugue
Michael Nicolella, guitar
(Gale Recordings 05-004)

Interview excerpt: John Williams:
"Having performed a lot of new music, I'm very aware of where composers sometimes fall down..." "... it became a piece."

Williams: Aeolian Suite
John Williams, guitar
studio orchestra
William Goodchild, cond.
(Sony Classical 60586)

Interview excerpt: Sergio Assad:
"I had several phases; the first was ..." "... I'm trying to write a lot of chamber music now"

Assad: Gypsy Songs
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin
Sergio and Odair Assad, guitars
(Elektra Nonesuch 79505)

Interview excerpt: Roland Dyens:
"The most important thing for me is to touch deeply the listener..." "'s impossible because I need both."

Dyens: Variations on G#
Roland Dyens, guitar
(live recording, Stetson University 1998)

Interview: Andrew York:
"The piece Transilience I wrote while I was living in London... ...a lot of textural possibilities with guitar, flute, and cello."

York: Transilience
Kim Perlak, guitar
Yong Clark, flute
Cathy Anderson, cello
(YongKim&Cathy 2005)

Norge: Cancion de Cuna
Kaare Norge, guitar

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