Matteo CarcassiCarcassi was one of the leading guitarist-composers of the 19th Century. He was born in Florence, 1792. Musically gifted, he devoted his earliest study to the piano. Then, while still at a tender age, he changed to the guitar, attaining a brilliant technique in a just few years. After years of performing all over Europe, his fame had increased and rivaled Ferdinando Carulli's in Paris. Carcassi distinguished himself from the Neapolitan musician by using a different instrumental posture, by performing without touching the fingernails on the strings, and by showing a different musical taste. This created more melody and a distinctive palette of effects. Carcassi abandoned his concert activity around 1840. He died in Paris on the 16th of January, 1853. He left almost one hundred-works calling for the guitar, all of romantic taste, brilliant and technically demanding.
Ferdinando CarulliFerdinando Maria Meinrado Francesco Pascale Rosario Carulli was one of the most famous composers for classical guitar and the author of the first complete classical guitar method, which continues to be used today. He wrote a variety of works for the guitar, including concertos and chamber works. He was an extremely prolific writer for guitar, writing over 400 works for the instrument in the space of 12 years. Carulli was born in Naples, Kingdom of Naples on February 9, 1770. His father, Michele, was a distinguished literator, secretary to the delegate of the Neapolitan Jurisdiction. Like many of his contemporaries, he was taught music theory by a priest, who was also an amateur musician. Carulli's first instrument was the cello, but when he was twenty, he discovered the guitar and devoted his life to the study and advancement of the guitar. As there were no professional guitar teachers in Naples at the time, Carulli developed his own style of playing.
Johan Sebastian BachAlthough not a classical guitar composer—thanks to Andres Segovia—his works for other instruments, such as the lute and string ensemble, were transposed to the classical guitar. This made his compositions essential for the guitar repertoire. He was born on March 21, 1685 and grew up in a rather musically prolific family. He was taught by his father to play the violin and the harpsichord. He was later taught by his uncle to play the organ and little Johan became skilled at all of these instruments. In addition to his musical talent, he also learned Latin grammar, Theology, Greek and a great deal of scripture, both in Latin and German. Some of the works transposed for guitar include Bouree in G minor, Sarabande, Violin Partitas, Concertos and Sonatas.
Francisco TárregaFrancisco Tárrega was born in Villarreal. His home, still preserved, is located beside the Saint Pascual Baylon's Church. He was so exceptional for his time that even some guitar artists today don't know him as a classic. He did his musical studies in Castellon, Valencia and Madrid, creating many original compositions that even today are easily understandable. Recognized as the leader of the modern Spanish guitar movement, he played in many European cities, expanding the guitar as an expressive and modern instrument. Some of his greatest and most popular masterpieces include Recuerdos de la Alhambra, Capricho Arabe", "Lagrima" and "Adelita". He also did several adaptations for guitar based on compositions from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Chopin, Schumman, and others. He had several pupils that learned his techniques and ensured the continuity and evolution of the guitar for today's people joy. He died in Barcelona at the age of 57, being its remains moved to Castellón's cemetery, where his tomb can be visited.
Dionisio AguadoDionisio Aguado (1784-1849) was one of the classic composers for the guitar in the nineteenth century. Born in Spain he later lived for many years in Paris. He is best known today for his method for the guitar. Born in 1784 into a religious family, Aguado showed an early aptitude for music and the guitar. But true to his modest nature, it took him forty years of playing the instrument to become "famous". This was when he went to live in Paris in 1824. Aguado had inherited his father's estate some years earlier and had spent the majority of his time there mastering the guitar and music. This stood him in good stead for the rest of his life, as he was both a master player and a very talented composer. This is despite the fact that he is mainly remembered today by his "Method Book". Aguado's studies were often considered quite difficult and beyond the average guitarist. His method book was a means of logically and systematically achieving the desired technique to master them. They contained many musical yet didactic works from beginner through advanced. When he played, it is said Aguado played with great speed more suited to the "earthy" sounds of flamenco. Aguado also was a proponent of using the nails on the right hand for greater clarity of tone and dynamics. This was in stark contrast to his housemate Sor, who it is said, played with a slower yet more "beautiful" tone.
Last Modified on January 13, 2010