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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

20 Guitar Pieces You Must Hear Before You Die

I invite you to help me choose them

Yes indeed, I can see you smiling as you read the title, after all how could you possibly hear them after you die? Probably not, but there may be special provision in heaven. If we can listen to music there, that would indeed be yet another attractive inducement for us to behave well on earth.

And who knows, maybe we will be greeted at the Pearly Gates by St Peter to the accompaniment of live guitar music rendered softly from a corner of the celestial entrance hall by the angel Tarrega or Sor or any other of our dearly departed heroes.

Best not to wait for that divine moment just in case, horror of horrors, we are dispatched down below to be greeted by - what? - a cacophony of discordant bugles, or an ear-splitting chorus of bare-chested, wild-haired electric guitarists tearing high notes from their instruments for ever in hell's dungeon.

No, it is clear to me we have to choose the 20 greatest now and not afterwards, and talk of the Devil, it is commonly known he has all the best tunes. It is so much easier to click my fingers and immediately know which are the guitar pieces I never want to hear again. Unfortunately, and you may be surprised to know, I include vast acres, no much more than that, mile upon mile of guitar music which may have given pleasure to their creators but none at all to me.

But our job is to keep focussed on choosing the best, not the worst. It will be entertaining and instructive to apply our collective minds to which 20 are totally indispensable as essential listening, containing music you can suggest with passion to the uninitiated, the sort of music that moves you every time, that chews at the pit of your stomach, that brings tears to your eyes, that makes your hair stand on end. I think you know what I am getting at.

So let us compile with enthusiasm a list dedicated to the 20 guitar pieces you must hear before you die. We will restrict ourselves to music composed for the guitar, be it the early 4-string version, or the Baroque 5-string one, or the cute little 19th century single-strung 6-string version, or the modern variety.

Out of the window unfortunately go all transcriptions from the lute and keyboard. Good-bye J.S. Bach, Scarlatti, Albeniz, Granados and most of Falla. They belong to a special category which we could call "Good-On-But-Not-Actually-Composed (for-the-guitar)" which we could abbreviate to GOBNAC or even "Well-Arranged-Guitar-music" which we could abbreviate to WAG. More of this category another time.

So, folks, just 20 pieces of authentic solid-gold music conceived for our beloved "magic box" - a phrase coined by Barrios. Now there is a clue as to one of my choices: yes, but which of his pieces?

I await your suggestions here below or on Facebook or Twitter.

21st September 2013, Cadiz, Spain

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=2750 .
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