The new box contains no fewer than three different Williams recordings of that most popular of all guitar works, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – from 1964 with the Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1974 with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orchestra, and from 1983 with Frémaux and the Philharmonia Orchestra – plus a performance of its much-loved Adagio in Williams’s celebrated 1993 “Seville Concert”.
During his career John Williams has not only explored the basic classical literature for guitar, he has also expanded it by inspiring, commissioning and arranging music from different cultures and in different styles, thereby transform the instrument's repertoire. To celebrate this outstanding and ongoing recording career Sony Classical has released a 2 CD retrospective entitled John Williams: The Ultimate Guitar Collection.
Sharon Isbin is an excellent guitar-player, with enviable skills. She has fast fingers, articulates precisely and cleanly, ornaments phrases where needed and with the greatest ease, and knows exactly how she wants the music to sound. All the voices are discernible, yet they maintain the proper hierarchy within these very complicated textures. This is certainly a recording that deserves a permanent slot in the collection of anyone interested in guitar repertoire.
Julian Bream is one of the most famous classical guitarists of the twentieth century and he has achieved worldwide fame not only for the guitar but also for his work with the Renaissance Lute. He is considered to be one of the most important ambassadors of the classical guitar and has formed a solid bridge between the music of the past with the technology of today. He helped usher the classical guitar into the modern age.