John Williams' Guitar Notes




19th Century Europe

In the first of his new series about the great instrumentalists and composers who created the classical guitar repertoire, John Williams looks at the way the instrument developed in the 19th century.

He demonstrates the kind of playing techniques used by the celebrated virtuosi Legnani and Paganini, and introduces recordings of their major compositions.

He also explores the works of the two giants of the period, Sor and Giuliani, and their very different ways of writing for the instrument.


South America


There is more to South American guitar music than Villa Lobos, and John Williams concludes his series with a voyage of discovery to the Latin continent, starting with the works of the Brazilian composer Augustin Barrios.

The focus shifts to Venezuela and the works of Antonio Lauro, and then to Cuba and Leo Brouwer, whose many guitar pieces include the Toronto Concerto composed for John Williams himself.

The series concludes with a look at the fiery playing of Cuban folk guitarists.