Theme and Variations

Thoughts and experiences of exploring classical, jazz, and other art music.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Sharon Isbin

As I write this, I am listening to Sharon Isbin plays Baroque Favorites for Guitar, the latest CD from classical guitarist Sharon Isbin.

Isbin seems to specialize in music which was not originally written for the guitar (although her repertoire does include many of standard classical works on many of her recordings). On this CD, she performs two pieces by Antonio Vivaldi, four by J.S. Bach, and one by Tommaso Alibinoni. The concerto pieces accompaniment by the Zurcher Kammerorchester under the direction of Howard Griffiths.

The opening piece is Vivaldi's Concerto in D major, R. 93. This is a work which is easily recognized, particularly the second movement, the Largo. Isbin is a master of the classical guitar (she is the director of the guitar department at the Julliard School), and her performance of Vivaldi is soulful and exciting. There's not a lot of ornamentation in the original music, but Isbin adds her own embellishments.

According to the liner notes, Vivaldi's A major concerto was originally composed as a trio sonata for violin, lute, and continuo, with the lute and violin parts nearly identical. Isbin uses arrangements for the work (and the D major piece) by Emilio Pujol, which add a viola, and makes the guitar part more prominent.

The works by Bach include a transcription of his Concerto in A minor BWV 1041, and Adagio from a keyboard concerto, a prelude, and the well-known Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

According to her web site (which includes a lengthy list of groups with which she has performed) Isbin began playing guitar at the age of nine. It also says she is a bit of an outdoor enthusiast, backpacking and cross-country skiing. Her recordings have won Grammy Awards in classical music. She studied with the legendary Andres Segovia, and is one of the premier guitarists in the world. This article tells a bit of the story of how she was trained and how she got started.

Classical guitar can be a mood setting kind of music, in both solo works and as part of an ensemble. A person wanting to become acquainted with this aspect of classical music would do well to start with one of over twenty of Isbin's recordings.


Blogger DailyLinks said...

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my how to play guitar site

It has all guitar related stuff.


6:04 AM  
Blogger Clickbank Mall said...

Reserve now your Uffizi Tickets trasporti

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool blog you have. I have a search clarinets
related site. Check it out if you get a chance. The URL is search clarinets

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog you have. I have a site about open c tuning banjo. You can check it out at open c tuning banjo

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent blog, i really like it. I also have a site about fingering chart for the clarinet
. If you are interested, please visit it here: fingering chart for the clarinet

4:58 PM  
Blogger wbrant said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a macbeth verdi site/blog. It pretty much covers macbeth verdi related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog! I also have a site about water skiing instructions
. You can check it out at water skiing instructions

Also, as a special bonus, I want to tell you about a great site that is giving away a FREE Sony DVD Handycam. Just click the link below and enter your Zipcode to qualify.

FREE Sony DVD Handycam

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog

Please visit our site at
you can find great deals on all items at eBay

11:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home