What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

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tosunpasa
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What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by tosunpasa » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:01 am

In terms of scope, technicality, harmonic range, colors and ideas, and the actual value and gravity that it adds to the world of classical guitar which piece or pieces would you say is the most ambitious for classical repertoire? I would think modern composers would try to do more ambitious and progressive works but i might be wrong. What is the equivalent of beethoven's 9th or debussy's la mer, or if we limit ourselves to solo instrument because we cant really compare anything to an orchestral suite, what is the equivalent of a bach keyboard suite or mozart sonata, for guitar? im thinking in terms of form and scope not the subjective beauty of the piece, tarrega probably don't have a long form and ambitious piece. domeniconi has sinbad suite which reminds me korsakov's scheherazade. rodrigo has his most famous concerto, which i dont really like. so i would like to hear your opinions.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:56 am

Sometimes this db is useful http://www.guitarburst.com/search.php
Switch 'title' for 'difficulty' and type 20 in the right-hand box (or 19 or 18 - the gradings are only rough).
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tosunpasa
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by tosunpasa » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:45 am

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:56 am
Sometimes this db is useful http://www.guitarburst.com/search.php
Switch 'title' for 'difficulty' and type 20 in the right-hand box (or 19 or 18 - the gradings are only rough).
most of 19 and 20 is not written for guitar, paganini and bach, i think you missed what im asking here: pieces that are exclusively written for guitar and are thought (or written) to expand and develop the range and expression of the instrument. im not talking about which piece is the hardest or has most complex fingering. im rather looking for an in depth view of a breakthrough piece and why it's ambitious for classical repertoire.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by Adrian Allan » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:52 am

I would rate The Prince's Toys by Koshkin quite high, due to its groundbreaking use of new techniques, but keeping within the confines of tonality.
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David Norton
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by David Norton » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:11 pm

I'd have to go with the (virtually unfamiliar to most) "Four Seasons Grand Suite" by the Dutch composer Annette Kruisbrink. Here's a review by Steve Marsh:
seasons.jpg
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tubeman
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by tubeman » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:43 pm

David_Norton wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:11 pm
I'd have to go with the (virtually unfamiliar to most) "Four Seasons Grand Suite" by the Dutch composer Annette Kruisbrink. Here's a review by Steve Marsh:

seasons.jpg
It's long, I give it that, but the samples sound too "new age" to my ears--sort of an Andrew York vibe that relies on convenient patterns rather than true music argument and depth. Your mileage may vary.

I'd nominate Henze's "The Royal Winter Music" or Kurt Schwertsik's "Ein kleines Requiem" Op. 97. The latter was written for Eliot Fisk--not for the faint of heart performers or audience! I saw him play it two or three years ago. It's about 50-60 minutes long, viciously difficult, and densely written. Kurt is not a guitarist, so he doesn't rely on cliched patterns.

Another suggestion is to drop the superlative case ("most") and change the title to "What are some ambitious...?" As soon as one gets identified, most likely it will be surpassed! While I'm at it, all superlatives (most, best, fastest, clearest, warmest, loudest, etc.) are far too subjective for meaningful discussions for any topics in my opinion.
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by randalljazz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:43 am

andrew violette's sonata is worth consideration. definitely worth the hour to listen and follow the score (youtube).
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David Norton
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by David Norton » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:52 pm

randalljazz wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:43 am
andrew violette's sonata is worth consideration. definitely worth the hour to listen and follow the score (youtube).
Yes, this one is a contender, despite being fairly unknown. And some very clever writing as well.

I will give great credit to Dan Lippel (performer on the above video) for exceptional mental and digital stamina on recording this.
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by markworthi » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:24 pm

I am not sure about it being the most ambitious work, but Castelnuovo Tedesco's "Capricci de Goya" seems to meet all of your criteria. Anyway, it's among my greatest ambitions even to come close to having the technical abilities to play all of its movements with the depth that others have achieved. (I know that's an answer to a slightly different question, though).

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David Norton
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by David Norton » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:55 pm

tosunpasa wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:01 am
what is the equivalent of a bach keyboard suite or mozart sonata, for guitar?
The whole of Bach's BWV 825 has been done on guitar:


Youtube



And a full Mozart sonata, as well:


Youtube
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tosunpasa
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by tosunpasa » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:59 pm

David_Norton wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:55 pm
tosunpasa wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:01 am
what is the equivalent of a bach keyboard suite or mozart sonata, for guitar?
The whole of Bach's BWV 825 has been done on guitar:
although these are great transcriptions that show the range of guitar and I just love bach, and who doesnt? I'm strictly looking for guitar exclusive pieces.

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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by sxedio » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:56 pm

Have you read this post on the early 19th century guitar sonatas ? I play the Diabelli sonata in C, quite fun and beyond the typical exercises/studies, if I believe the post above the other sonatas are even more complex. Then you also have Sor's Fantasias, Diabelli even wrote some Fugues, and there are other longer form varied pieces. I'm thinking e.g. of Carulli's 'Trois jours' which is a programmatic work based on the events of the 1830 French revolution, with a lot of variety, some very clever harmonic shifts, and some fairly dissonant bits (by 1830s standards) as well as a march and some cheerful more typical Carulli bits.

Of course there are fairly ambitious modern pieces but don't forget about the 19th century, especially if your benchmark is the classical keyboard works.
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Jim Davidson
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by Jim Davidson » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:54 pm

I'd definitely have to nominate Rochberg's Caprice Variations, especially in terms of scale.

*edit: I realized that that was originally for violin*

Berio's Sequenza is probably up there, too.
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Kevin Cowen
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by Kevin Cowen » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:24 pm

Theme De Meunier Venteux has been scientifically proven to be the most ambitious piece ever written for classical guitar.
The version by Frederico Phillips is highly recommended.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: What is the most ambitious piece written for classical guitar?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:46 pm

Kevin Cowen wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:24 pm
Theme De Meunier Venteux has been scientifically proven to be the most ambitious piece ever written for classical guitar.
The version by Frederico Phillips is highly recommended.
Please elaborate!?
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