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Jason Vieaux Discusses Classical Guitar Recordings

Jason Vieaux, fresh off his GRAMMY win, was in the ArtistWorks studio recently to record new Sor studies (among other things) for his online students. You can see a list of the new classical guitar lessons below, but while he was here we also took some time to discuss recordings from some of the 20th century's greatest classical guitarists. We showed Jason some records which we like to listen to in the office and recorded his natural reaction. You can clearly see how much this music means to Jason, and how influential many of these classical guitar recordings remain to this day. 

Julian Bream, Julian Bream Plays Dowland

julian bream plays dowland

"Julian Bream was really the main guy for me on record. I started classical guitar lessons when I was 7, growing up in Buffalo, with Jeremy Sparks. And Jeremy would go to the public library and bring [me] a lot of these records. And a lot them my parents also bought as we went along. As a kid I wasn't so much into the lute playing so much, but this is what Bream's great contribution was to the instrument and early music, is because he brought a lot of visibility to the lute… He basically played the lute the way you would play a classical guitar… and really helped the classical guitarists and classical musicians appreciate music from an earlier time than the Classical era. And these Westminster Recordings are really just some of the best. "

Andrés Segovia, Granada 

segovia, granada

"This is one that would have been brought to me from the library. My teacher wisely had me listen to as many players as possible, as many of the original great 20th century players. I gravitated on record to Julian Bream and John Williams, but I got to know Segovia's playing style a lot through recordings like this."

Andrés Segovia, The Intimate Guitar

intimat guitar - andres segovia

"I remember getting this from the library. It has some really cool things on it - The Prelude in E, Ponce. That was one of my first concert pieces. In my very first recital I played the Ponce Prelude in E, so I definitely would have listened to this very particular recording for a reference piece." 

Julian Bream, Bream on Baroque

julian bream, baroque guitar

"This was a golden era for recordings. These guys just really cranked these records out one after the other."

Julian Bream, A Bach Recital For Guitar

julian bream, a bach recital for guitar

"All Bach! Wow, this is an impressive recital. And he's really quite young here. I got to hear these Westmintster, these early Bream recordings, at a colleague's house after a recital that I did at Sonoma State University. He has one of those really expensive turntables and speakers, and we did a compare/contrast thing to these and the RCA [recordings], and other guitarists' records, and these Westminster ones just sound so great.. the distance to him from the mic, it's just a very live sound and wonderful."

Julian Bream and John Williams, Julian & John 

julian bream and john williams

"Julian and John! In all of the album cover's psychedelic glory, excellent. These were big selling records, they did one and then had to do a sequel, Julian and John II, because they were really quite big sellers."

John Williams, Barrios

john williams, barrios

"Maybe one of the most important recordings he ever made. Again, a super album cover - it almost looks like a Weather Report album cover from the 70s. People weren't really championing Barrios' music; Segovia didn't really go out of his way to promote this really wonderful music for guitar and Williams did. I think as time goes on, it really looks to be one of the most important statements artistically for [John Williams], is to say 'this guy Barrios was really a major deal'. Excellent record." 

John Williams, The Guitar Artistry of John Williams 

the guitar artistry of john williams

"This is a really early record, these are the two Cello Suites #1 and #3. I had these recordings on compilations."

John Williams, Columbia Records presents John Williams

Columbia Records presents John Williams

"This must be the debut, the first and only label he was on. I have to imagine this was a really good label to be on, obviously it became a really powerful label in terms of the pop stuff like Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen - major major artists so it's probably a good label if you were a classical musician to be associated with. 

The Fourth Lute Suite is a big technical step forward, The Prelude. Before this recording it wasn't really considered by some of the more established guitarists of the time to be really something that could be tackled. It was pretty much unplayable. Of course now my students play it with relative ease, but at the time that was a major milestone in technical achievement."

John Williams, Virtuoso Variations for Guitar 

john williams virtuoso variations for guitar

"This was a big one in my personal collection. This was a big reference recording for me."

John Williams, More Virtuoso Music for Guitar

john williams more virtuoso music for guitar

"This one of course is just fantastic. This has a lot of wonderful short pieces, the Villa-Lobos, the Giuliani Sonata. We're kind of getting to this kind of programming, where now you don't have to make an entire album of one composer. My latest album Play is basically all these different composers from all these different countries - providing that you've provided some kind of narrative thread, they have to hang together a little more together than they did back then."

"I wanted to add more etudes and simpler pieces to the Basic and Intermediate levels of my school. We did a great job with the initial launch, featuring a cross section of repertoire, studies and exercises for all levels of playing. But Beginner and Intermediate level players need lots of different challenges in the form of etudes and short pieces, along with their technical exercises. This is so that the student over time more fully acquires the technical, musical, and reading skills they need to play more advanced pieces in the future.” 

 All of these classical guitar lessons were recently added for Jason's online students:

  • Sor - Opus 60 no4
  • Giuliani – Opus 51 no1
  • Giuliani – Opus 50 no1
  • Giuliani – Opus 1 no1
  • Giuliani – Opus 50 no3
  • Sor - Opus 35 no4
  • Sor - Opus 31 no11
  • Giuliani – Opus 100
  • Sor - Opus 60_no12
  • Sor - Opus 35 no3
  • Giuliani – Opus 139 no1
  • Sor - Opus 55 no18
  • Sor - Opus 35 no14
  • Sor - Opus 31 no14
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no4
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no8
  • Giuliani – Opus 50 no7
  • Giuliani – Opus 50 no5
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no13 performance
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no13 _analysis
  • Sor  - Opus 51 no2
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no14
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no16
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no17
  • Giuliani – Opus 139 no5
  • Giuliani – Opus 1 part3 no3
  • Giuliani – Opus 1 part3 no3 analysis
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no11
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no1
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no7 perf
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no7 analysis
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no10
  • Giuliani – Opus 139 no3
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no14
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no13
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no17
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no9
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no23
  • Sor  - Opus 60 no24
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no8
  • Sor  - Opus 6 no2
  • Sor  - Opus 35 no15
  • Sor  - Opus 6 no1
  • Sor  - Opus 60 no20
  • Tárrega - rght hand exercises - intro
  • Tárrega - rght hand exercises  - no1 and 2
  • Tárrega - rght hand exercises - greater than 2
  • Tárrega - rght hand exercises - starting at 8
  • Tárrega - rght hand exercises – 17 and more
  • Carulli – Andantino – a minor
  • Carulli – country dance
  • Giuliani – Opus 6
  • Carulli - Andante – Opus 241 no18
  • Carulli - Andante – Opus 241 no4
  • Carulli – Waltz in E minor
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no7
  • Carcassi – Opus 60 no10
  • Sor  - Opus 60 no10
  • Sor  - Opus 31 no20

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