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Classical Guitar


Here are some of the interviews I was lucky enough to be able do through the years when I was writing for GI and CG:

Carlos Barbosa-Lima (1984)

Manuel Barrueco (1983)

William Coulter (2002), with his arrangement of Carolan’s Cap

Eduardo Fernández (1984)

John Gilbert (luthier) (1986)

Alexandre Lagoya (1981)

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (1987)

Wulfin Lieske (1985), with his arrangement of a Schubert Menuetto, D 894

Vladimír Mikulka (1983)

David Russell (2003)

David Tanenbaum (1987)

Benjamin Verdery (1984)

Benjamin Verdery (2002)

John Williams (1983) (also available in Spanish))


Bizet: Habanera from Carmen (2 guitars)

The impetus for this arrangement was hearing a (double-tracked) version by a flamenco guitarist that I thought was rather unadventurous. This one is perhaps a bit more challenging.

Habanera ? ? ?

Couperin: Les barricades mystérieuses (2 guitars)

I did this after hearing Christopher Parkening’s excellent solo version on Parkening plays Bach…. His arrangement is in his book Parkening and the Guitar, Vol. 2, where it appears in C. The recording is in D; but his secretary confirmed (in 2003) that he does, on occasion, use a capo.

My arrangement is also in C, but has the 5th string to G and the 6th string to C. This puts it up just a tone from the B♭ original; I only had to change one bass note to get it all within the compass of the guitars.

Les barricades mystérieuses ? ? ?


For guitar versions of music from before 1650, see the Early tab.

Bach: Prelude from the 1st ’Cello Suite, BWV 1007

The Prelude has of course been a staple of the classical guitar repertory for decades—since, in fact, the days of Segovia. But Segovia’s version featured an added bass-line by Manuel Ponce that made Bach purists froth at the mouth (you can find Segovia’s version on Andrés Segovia: The Paris Film (1954), on YouTube, at 7'53" in).

Christopher Parkening (a pupil, of course, of Segovia’s) also recorded the Ponce version, with (I believe) a few of the extra notes removed; and, pace the purists, I like his recording.

As far as I’m aware, the Ponce transcription has never been published. But I liked the Parkening version so much that I transcribed it. Here it is. (The fingering—for now, at least—is my own.)

Prelude, BWV 1007 YouTube Buy CD Buy MP3

Lennon/McCartney: Yesterday & Norwegian Wood

Jorge Morel (1931–2021) was certainly one of the greatest composers and arrangers in the history of the classical guitar. Many of his compositions and arrangements have now been published; but the two here, from 1982’s Jorge Morel Plays Broadway, seem to have slipped through the net. I don’t believe Jorge would have wanted them to disappear.

Yesterday ? Buy LP ?
Norwegian Wood ? Buy LP ?

Tárrega: Lágrima (3rd part)

Not many people seem to know that Francisco Tárrega wrote a 3rd part to Lágrima. I found it decades ago, in the old B.M.G. (Banjo • Mandolin • Guitar) magazine (specifically, it was, along with an accompanying article by Jack Whitfield, on p. 198 of the April 1960 edition).

Here it is.

Lágrima (3rd part) ? ? ?

The Coach and Horses guitar clubsunk without trace

The pub is still there, although the club that Richard Lawrence founded is long gone. Its venue was an annexe on the side of the pub, facing Long Lane; within easy reach of the bar, but far enough away to avoid most of the noise. Here is a regrettably small sample of the music you could find there.

Richard Lawrence

himself was quite a character, an archetypal extrovert. He was primarily a flamenco guitarist, although in fact (as the selection below shows) he could play just about any style. He it was who, in 1963, saw Paco Peña performing at Antonio’s Restaurant in London, and invited him back to the club.

Around 1970, Richard moved to Jersey, so I only saw him on occasional visits after that, and he died in 2000. However, in 2014 his sister Angela was kind enough to send me a recording, made at The Old Courthouse in Jersey, and with a portrait she painted for the booklet-cover (no, the picture isn’t back-to-front: Richard was indeed left-handed).

With his family’s permission, I present it here.

Richard Lawrence: Guitar Solos
Mozart Piano Sonata Nº 11, K. 331: Rondo Play/Download
Russian Medley Play/Download
Theodorakis Zorba’s Dance Play/Download
Farruca Play/Download
Trad. arr. Sabicas Aires del norte Play/Download
Lara Granada Play/Download
Joplin The Entertainer Play/Download
Anon. Romance de amor Play/Download
Mason Williams Classical Gas Play/Download
Myers Cavatina Play/Download
Oudrid? arr. Sabicas El sitio de Zaragoza Play/Download
Lecuona arr. Sabicas Malagueña Play/Download
Alegrías Play/Download
Francisco Calleja Canción triste Play/Download
Estéban Sanlúcar Mantilla de feria Play/Download

Paul Durham

was another character, whose exploits were legendary. Self-taught, his idol was Segovia: in particular, he loved the latter’s tone and strove to copy it, succeeding to a startling extent. He was a labourer by trade, with large strong hands that gave him rock-solid technique. It was his musicianship, however, that won the respect, not just of the modest pub and restaurant audiences he played for, but of people such as Paco, David Russell, Ben Verdery, and Jack Duarte.

Unfortunately, that was a time before decent portable recorders existed, so almost nothing remains of the Coach days. I did, however, manage to catch Paul on a reel-to-reel tape recorder at my house one day in the ’70s. One of his nicknames was The Jolly Green Giant (owing to his resemblance to the B&G Foods mascot); so that gave me the title for the resulting CD I made later. Photo by Max Corrigan.

Paul Durham: The Guitar of the Jolly Green Giant
Granados Spanish Dance Nº 5, Andaluza Play/Download
Dowland Piper’s Pavan, P. 8 Play/Download
Moreno Torroba Arada Play/Download
Albéniz Suite Española, Op. 47, Nº 1: Granada Play/Download
Ponce Sonata clásica: IV—Allegro (take 1) Play/Download
Anon. Vaghe bellezze (Chilesotti 17) Play/Download
Negri Bianca Fiore Play/Download
Roncalli Andante Play/Download
Rameau Minuet Play/Download
Bach Cello Suite Nº 1, BWV 1007: Prelude Play/Download
Sor Minuet in D Play/Download
Moreno Torroba Romance de los pinos Play/Download
Weiss Fantasie, S. 83 Play/Download
R. Sainz de la Maza La frontera de Dios: Idilio (fragment) Play/Download
Frescobaldi Aria detta ‘La Frescobalda’ Play/Download
de Visée Suite in D Minor: Bourrée Play/Download
Sanz Pavanas Play/Download
Ponce Sonata clásica: IV—Allegro (take 2) Play/Download

BBC Radio recordingssunk without trace

Colin Beasley (from Coventry) has kindly provided this amazing collection. See also his contributions to the Early and Flamenco tabs (some of these recordings are around 50 years old, so you may wish to adjust your tone controls accordingly—if you have any).

To avoid cluttering this page further, I have made a separate Contents Listing of all Colin’s programmes, which you can find here.

‘The Classical Guitar’ series

The Abreu Brothers (1) Play/Download
The Abreu Brothers (2) Play/Download
Alice Artzt Play/Download
Ernesto Bitetti Play/Download
Carlos Bonnell Play/Download
Leo Brouwer Play/Download
Alirio Díaz Play/Download
The English Guitar Quartet Play/Download
Evangelos & Liza Play/Download
Guillermo Fierens Play/Download
Cheryl Grice Play/Download
Eric Hill (1) Play/Download
Eric Hill (2) Play/Download
Sharon Isbin Play/Download
Ricardo Iznaola Play/Download
Alexandre Lagoya Play/Download
Lanchester Guitar Competition 1974 Play/Download
John Mills (1) Play/Download
John Mills (2) Play/Download
John Mills & Raymond Burley Play/Download
The Omega Guitar Quartet Play/Download
ORTF Guitar Competition 1976 Play/Download
Christopher Parkening Play/Download
Konrad Ragossnig Play/Download
Turibio Santos Play/Download
Andrés Segovia Play/Download
Timothy Walker Play/Download
John Williams (1) Play/Download
John Williams (2) Play/Download
Leo Witoszynsky (1) Play/Download
Leo Witoszynsky (2) Play/Download
Narciso Yepes Play/Download

Julian Bream

Sean Rafferty at Home with Julian Bream Play/Download

Andrés Segovia

The Segovia Legacy Play/Download

External Resources

B.M.G. Magazine

This British journal, devoted to the banjo, mandolin and guitar, ran from 1903 to 1976. You can find an archive of most of those issues here, and my index to all the music for classical guitar therein here.

Lance Bosman

My good friend, and also colleague (back in the day) at GI, has his own website, wherein you can learn about his music and find PDFs of the many interviews he did.