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Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

Modest Mussorgsky, "Pictures at an Exhibition"

Il Vecchio Castello

Guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita, deserves a special paragraph. His playing of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is devastating. He premiered the work at the 1984 Toronto festival/competition and changed the classical guitar scene forever. Players attending the festival could not believe what they were seeing and hearing. They were realizing for the first time that there are talented and SUPER-talented players. Yamashita is a loner in the super-talented category. No other player will EVER play the work so well and make a similar impact. I mean he literally invented a series of techniques to be able to play the work... total independence of the fingers in order to achieve special effects and amazing feats like tremolo using the little finger or the index finger alone just to mention one or a Stanley Jordan approach to both hands plucking. If the classical  guitar was ever played like a "miniature orchestra",  that was the time. Yamashita can never be boring... some of his squeaking can hurt some compositions and his need to show off often gets in the way... No matter what we say or do, we have to come to terms with the  reality that only certain players can play certain pieces. After Yamashita's performance in Toronto, the festival slowly and steadily came to an end. There are not enough Yamashita's around to keep the interest alive. Many US players boycotted Yamashita's return to the US concert scene because they feared that their careers would come to an end if the young Japanese player kept humiliating them... He eventually returned to America on several occasions but the simple fact that his name does not pop-up automatically as one of the all-time best players gives strenght to my words. I changed the Key to make the piece more playable because if you look at the video you will see that the original tuning requires 2 things from Yamashita: Major physical work and continuous tuning of the guitar. The 5th string in G is nothing short of a nightmare for a guitar player. I'd rather use a wiser approach... S.D.G. Read MORE >>

Kazuhito Yamashita, Il Vecchio Castello

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Staff and Video 1

Hold the G stopped by finger 3 on string 6 to avoid the abrupt death of sound. Yamashita uses the flesh of the the middle finger to achieve a muted sound. You can use a huge variety of options. The idea to be kept alive is that the guitar will be resembling an orchestra throughout the piece and you must in a way represent the different instruments participating.

Video 1
Luque, September 29 - October 12, 2016, S.D.G.

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