Major composers who composed for guitar

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Briant
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:23 pm
Location: East Sussex Uk

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by Briant » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:53 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:12 am
All well-known and many obscure composers for guitar who were active in the period from 1775 to 1910 are described here, with detailed reviews of their output:
http://www.earlyromanticguitar.com/erg/composers.htm
Thanks for posting Yisrael. This is a very useful resource :merci:

User avatar
David Norton
Posts: 3950
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by David Norton » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:23 pm

Since the OP hasn't replied, here's how "I" would define a Major Composer: someone who is capable of writing music in a variety of musical contexts, with a variety of instrumentation, AND whose music is (has been) performed by multiple performers on a broad geographic scale.

So following this criteria, someone like Ferdinando Carulli is a Major Composer: solos, duos, duos with piano, duos with flute/violin, and full concerti. Mauro Giuliani and Anton Diabelli as well. Fernando Sor? Certainly: just because the ballets and masses he composed haven't survived the centuries doesn't mean they didn't exist, and the published critiques of his era show they were well-regarded by his peers.

In the 20th century, the "Segovia Composers" were all well versed in writing music for many different instrumental or vocal contexts. Ponce, Turina, Torroba, Tansman, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mompou, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos all have a much wider musical output than just their guitar music. And the "Bream Composers" such as Britten, Walton, Berkeley, Tippett, Rawsthorne, all go one better, being much more recognized on the global musical platform for their non-guitar music than for their sparse but important guitar pieces.

I am hoping the OP comes back with his/her own criteria for a "Major Composer".
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

User avatar
jayjayrose
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 12:51 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by jayjayrose » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:06 pm

And I'd like to add Gustav Mahler. His Symphony No. 7 has a part for guitar in the fourth movement.
"…that all-pervading talisman of Spanish pleasure, the guitar." -Washington Irving

hackedpineapple
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:57 pm

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by hackedpineapple » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:36 am

Hi all, sorry for not replying i just forgot that i asked this question but thank you for all of your helpful information. David's definition is almost what i was thinking about. What i meant to say with the phrase major composer is a composer who has written orchestral pieces and isn't famous only by guitarists

User avatar
guitareleven
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by guitareleven » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:44 am

Ginastera. Julian Orbon. Hindemith. Stravinsky. And, by the qualification "a composer who has written orchestral pieces and isn't famous only by guitarists", Sor is famous only to guitarists now, but in his day he was known as a composer of operas, ballets, and piano pieces.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:39 am

guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:44 am
Sor is famous only to guitarists now, but in his day he was known as a composer of operas, ballets, and piano pieces.
...and especially, vocal works! e.g. the Ariettas.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
guitareleven
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by guitareleven » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:57 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:39 am
guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:44 am
Sor is famous only to guitarists now, but in his day he was known as a composer of operas, ballets, and piano pieces.
...and especially, vocal works! e.g. the Ariettas.
My omission of mentioning songs was cause for a "Duh" slap-in-the-forehead type moment for me afterwards. My wife and I have worked on several of these, and have performed and recorded some of the Seguidillas. I think at least one of these has an alternative piano accompaniment. He also wrote a choral motet. And, of course, "vocal" would include opera, which I did mention.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:53 pm

guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:57 am
My omission of mentioning songs was cause for a "Duh" slap-in-the-forehead type moment for me afterwards. My wife and I have worked on several of these, and have performed and recorded some of the Seguidillas.
Any videos or recordings you'd like to share?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

CGCristian92
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:27 am
Location: NYC

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by CGCristian92 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:10 pm

Anton Garcia Abril, but hes only big in spain it seems.

User avatar
guitareleven
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by guitareleven » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:33 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:53 pm
guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:57 am
My omission of mentioning songs was cause for a "Duh" slap-in-the-forehead type moment for me afterwards. My wife and I have worked on several of these, and have performed and recorded some of the Seguidillas.
Any videos or recordings you'd like to share?
Can't promise any immediacy of action; I've got some on some audio cassettes somewhere ( 'member those things? Thought to be a remarkable innovation on convenience for their time.). I also have two as sound files, from a session we had in a recording studio way way back. We were just starting out, trying not to blow what studio time we had. They came out sounding--- careful. Nice, but careful. But I love hearing my wife's voice from back then. Much more lively versions from a NY concert we did a few years later, but those are the ones that I have to locate. If you just wanna hear the pieces, I'm sure that by this time there must be several versions of them all on YouTube.

More on Sor- I find that, aside from the compositional genres I (and you) mentioned, he also had some symphonies and string quartets to his credit. Lost works, apparently, too bad. Else, someone might effect a Tube add. But, I also confess I was toying with "hackedpineapple" 's criteria, and maybe being a bit of a smart aleck with the literal interpretation game. Much as I am fond of, and do like Sor, and in spite of his quite capable handling of theoretical compositional material in a variety of media, I think its stretching it to say he was really a major composer. 'Cept to us guys.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:25 pm

guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:33 pm
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:53 pm
guitareleven wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:57 am
My omission of mentioning songs was cause for a "Duh" slap-in-the-forehead type moment for me afterwards. My wife and I have worked on several of these, and have performed and recorded some of the Seguidillas.
Any videos or recordings you'd like to share?
Can't promise any immediacy of action; I've got some on some audio cassettes somewhere ( 'member those things? ....Much as I am fond of, and do like Sor, and in spite of his quite capable handling of theoretical compositional material in a variety of media, I think its stretching it to say he was really a major composer. 'Cept to us guys.
I have a cassette player sitting within reach right here 8) ... still, would be interested to hear anything you feel like bringing along ...

Re the OP and 'major' in general, I'd would say that certainly, according to the usual general musical understanding of the words 'major composer', nobody who has ever been a significant guitarist would ever qualify. Berlioz tinkered slightly, and is a major composer; I'd say Paganini, who was jolly good even if he apparently never played guitar in public, is not to be considered a major composer, rather he is significant musician and artist. But these things are dependent upon many ways in which words can be understood, all depending on where one is coming from.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

James
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:18 am
Location: Mildura,Australia

Re: Major composers who composed for guitar

Post by James » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:20 am

Also Australian composers like Ross Edwards, Nigel Westlake, Phillip Houghton, Peter Sculthorpe and Richard Charlton. While not composers in the 'major', nonetheless significant in relation to guitar repertoire.

Return to “Public Space”