Fretworks

Saturdays and Wednesdays at 7pm

Fretworks is an hour-long program featuring the world of the classical guitar as a solo instrument or member of an ensemble, with an occasional lute or mandolin player.

The music ranges from old to new and includes the great repertoire from Spain and Latin America as well as melodic contemporary music from around the world. You’ll hear recordings of the great guitarists along with recent releases from young masters.

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"Andrés Segovia (1962)" by Jac. de Nijs / Anefo - Nationaal Archief. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 nl via Wikimedia Commons

Spanish composer and guitarist Francisco Tarrega liked a good opera tune as much as anyone, and Giuseppe Verdi really knew how to provide them in his popular operas.  On the next Fretworks, Greek guitarist Michalis Kontaxakis—  winner of the  First Prize in the 2005 International Francisco Tarrega Guitar Competition —will play Tarrega's Fantasy on Themes from La Traviata.

Katona Twins playing guitar at a concert
Courtsey of the artist

The next Fretworks on Saturday evening at 7, will feature the Mandolin Concerto in Eb from the late 18th century by Giovanni Paisiello.  

Ricardo Gallen playing guitar
Alberto Díaz / Flickr

Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo wrote what is probably the best known of all guitar concertos, the Concierto de Aranjuez, in 1939. There is the almost as popular Fantasia para un gentilhombre from 1954, and then the somewhat less well known Concierto Madrigal for two guitars from 1966, the Concierto Andaluz for four guitars from 1967, and finally from 1982, the least often performed of his guitar concertos, the Concierto para una fiesta.

Join me for Fretworks for music of the classical guitar this Saturday at 7 pm on Classical 101. This week, from Latin America, we’ll hear the Guitar Concerto of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Sharon Isbin will be featured in her 2004 Warner Classics CD that got great reviews for her performances with the New York Philharmonic led by Jose Serebrier, not only for the Villa-Lobos but also for the Rodrigo and Ponce concertos on the recording.

Berta Rojas playing guitar
Javier Valdez

For the first day of Spring on Fretworks, I’ll have the appropriate movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work, The Four Seasons, in an arrangement for three guitars performed by the Amsterdam Guitar Trio.

March 21 is also the 330th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, so we’ll hear his Violin Concerto No. 2 in E arranged for guitar and string quartet, played by Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang and the Elias Quartet.

Yolanda Kondonassis and Jason Vieaux with instraments
Laura Watilo Blake / Yolanda Kondonassis, JasonVieaux

Music for harp and guitar from the new CD “Together” featuring Yolanda Kondonassis and Jason Vieaux will be on the next Fretworks program Saturday evening at 7 and Wednesday at 7 on Classical 101. When Jason Vieaux was with us last month, he talked enthusiastically about his collaboration with the famed harpist, and now this disc is out.

Friedemann Wuettke playing a guitar
Courtesy of the artist

The next Fretworks program this Saturday at 7 pm, will feature a guitar concerto by Haydn, sort of… Franz Joseph Haydn never actually wrote a guitar concerto, but German guitarist Friedemann Wuettke took it upon himself to make an arrangement of the String Quartet, Op. 2, No. 2 for guitar and strings. He’ll be the soloist with the New Moscow Chamber Orchestra.

Los Romeros, “The Royal Family of the Guitar,” will be featured on the next Fretworks, performing a rousing rendition of the Carmen Suite by Georges Bizet.  This is music from the 1875 opera Carmen by the great French composer who so wonderfully captured the spirit of Spain in this instantly recognizable music.

The great Spanish classical guitarist Andres Segovia was born on February 21, 1893 and died at the age of 94 in 1987.  To celebrate his birthday, I’ll be will be featuring some recordings by him and  from several of his prominent students.  

Segovia is acknowledged as having done more than anyone else to raise the status of the guitar to a serious concert instrument in the first half of the 20th century.

Cleveland area classical guitarist Jason Vieaux won a Grammy Award last Sunday in Los Angeles in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo for his album, Play.  He’ll be my guest on the next Fretworks for conversation about his career and some performances recorded when he was in Columbus last month.  

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