The Least Ambitious Instrument

I love this quote from Sam Riesing at I CARE IF YOU LISTEN: Daniel Lippel “will perform two sets of ambitious music for what is widely reputed to be the least-ambitious instrument in the history of human civilization.”

Mr. Reising is so very right,  the repertoire of the guitar pales in comparison to that of other classical instruments and most of what has been written for what is likely the most popular and accessible instrument of our time lacks imagination and depth.  Sure, there is a piece or two that stands out for its virtuosity and creative ventures – the Villa Lobos etudes come to mind, as well as Davidovsky, and even Britten and Carter whom we celebrated earlier this year wrote major works for the guitar. But as a whole the instrument has been pigeon-holed into genres of limited harmonic inventiveness.

I am grateful that Daniel Lippel agrees and has dedicated his art to bettering it. If you are in New York, do yourself a favor and go see him tonight at Spectrum. Either way check out this great performance of Davidovsky’s Synchronism No. 10, be inspired and go write some great music for the instrument which longs to be so much more ambitious than a minor repertoire consisting of I-IV-V.

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