Classical Reissue Reviews

John Williams – The Ultimate Guitar Collection – Compilation set of 41 selections from his many recordings


Published on May 17, 2005

John Williams – The Ultimate Guitar Collection – Compilation set of 41 selections from his many recordings
John Williams – The Ultimate Guitar Collection – Compilation set of
41 selections from his many recordings – Sony Classical S2K 93959 (2
CDs), 76:19, 78:09 ****:

The barrage of
reissue material from the major labels is well worth investigating when
it brings up such bargain gems as this one. The two discs are fully
packed with 41 selections from the recording career for Columbia/Sony
of probably the world’s finest classical guitarist – over two hours of
great music. While mostly solo guitar works, there are excerpts from
concertos by Vivaldi and Rodrigo among others. The Australian-born
guitarist has been heard in scores for such films as The Deer Hunter
and A Fish Called Wanda, and some of his most recent albums have
explored world music cultures in an effort similar to that of cellist
Yo-Yo Ma. Most of the tracks come from the 90s and more recently,
although a couple are from as early as l975.

Many familiar guitar favorites such as Recollections of the Alhambra
and pieces by Satie and Bach are in the collection, but it also abounds
in unique choices such as the theme from the film The Mission, a
Courante by Handel, and an original piece by follow guitarist Andrew
York. There are two originals by Williams (as well as the theme from
Schindler’s List by that other John Williams). William’s swinging
performance of Charlie Byrd’s 3 Blues for Classic Guitar had me smiling
ear to ear – this musician is nothing if not versatile! If you’d like
to know more about him, and see a list of all the 41 selections in the
set, check out his own web site; www.johnwilliamsguitar.com

- John Sunier




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