Thanks to luthier Jeffrey Elliott for bringing this moment of simple beauty to my attention.
They’re not making them like this anymore.
I’ve loved this arrangement by Stuart Weber since the first time I heard it. So when Stuart agreed to let me publish it on Guitarist.com, I was delighted. Thank you, Stuart!
Here is the free sheet music in PDF format (84kb): america-the-beautiful.pdf
And here, for the third time on this blog (because it’s just that good!), is Stuart playing his arrangement of America the Beautiful:
This piece is also available on Stuart’s CD, The Fifth Row.
Carlos Barbosa-Lima playing Luiz Bonfa’s Sambolero.
Bach wrote this for the violin, then he arranged it for the lute, which gave us all a great model to work from when we want to adapt Bach to the guitar. But here we hear the violin version brought straight over to the mandolin, with none of the additional bass notes of the lute version.
Why am I posting a mandolin video on a guitar blog? Well, I was tripping around YouTube listening to Bach here in the wee hours of the morning and I happened to find this brilliant bit of video on Thile, whom I’d never heard before. That led me to more videos from Thile, and in one of them he has some advice for guitarists wanting to cross over to the mandolin. At one point, while discussing the technical challenges, he drops a great bit of advice to guitarists. He says, “Don’t play the guitar — play music!”
Then I remembered this isn’t a mandolin video after all….
One of our favorite YouTube stars!
Ciaccona in Partite Variate
Anna Kowalska – baroque guitar
Anton Birula – theorbo
I’ve said it many times over the years: The most important thing I want to accomplish with students is for them to develop a happy life-long relationship with the guitar.
Well, I got a nice email yesterday…
Stroll through my house and you’ll hear my son playing the piano or guitar, my youngest daughter singing at the top of her lungs, and for most of 2010 me working on Bach’s Chaconne, and from time to time my oldest daughter playing piano.
All that to say that music is a dominant force in the life of my family. My youngest is involved with a youth theater doing 3 musicals a year. My son just finished there and is now going to be a music director. He’s working on a music degree and may become a choir teacher. He loves music theory and is dreaming. (He and a friend started a production company — whatever that means). My oldest daughter is a pretty good pianist looking forward to starting piano lessons again. My wife is the Area Coordinator for the drama group and as the only non-musician in the family was the driving force for piano/clarinet/guitar/voice lessons.
Years ago, I wondered how I would get my kids not to walk away from music as I did when I was 14. I never figured out a plan, but they watched me play at home and perform. I think that gave them the spark to stay at it. We didn’t go on great vacations or have the latest video games because $ went to lessons (6 different lessons at one point) and went to buy or rent instruments. None of them would have done it differently.
Anyway, I was just thinking about the part you played in inspiring me and again wanted to say thanks. I have three kids whose lives have been, and will continue to be impacted by music. Never mind the kids, I was just playing and reflecting on how much I love to play.
By the way, about a year and a half ago my son picked up my Villa-Lobos book and in a week’s time read through Prelude 1 and had it memorized. Kind of surprising since he didn’t have any need to read guitar music before (gifted reader on piano though). He learned on his electric guitar and played it for me on a classical guitar. He played through every once in a while and then played it in a district music competition just over a year ago. He won for classical guitar which qualified him to compete at state… which he won. Then he played for about 4500 people at graduation. I would have been petrified and he was excited. Good night!
So again, thanks. You did a great job as my teacher and those lessons have lived on. One thing I learned from you was that I could play whatever. I have learned the Chaconne from just opening the music and going to work and I don’t think I would have figured that out if you hadn’t shown great works.
I hope you are doing well!