Tracks 1 - 14 Joseph Williams II
Tracks 15 - 21 Steve Lin
Track 22 Steve Lin & Joseph Williams II
Emilio Pujol (1886-1990): Trois Morceaux Espagnols
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
4 Sonata K.96 Allegrissimo [arr. E. Fisk]
Frank Martin (1890-1974): Quatre Pièces Brèves
5 I. Prèlude
6 II. Air
7 III. Plainte
8 IV. Comme une Gigue
George Rochberg (1918-2005): from Caprice Variations [arr. E. Fisk]
10 No. 1 Allegro Energico
11 No. 27 Aria
12 No. 7 Presto
13 No. 49 Feroce
14 No. 32 Burlesco
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in Eb
Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849): Rondo Brillante Op. 2 No.1
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968): from Caprichos de Goya
20 No. 18 El sueño de la razon produce monstrous
Miguel Llobet (1878-1938)
Joseph Williams II (b. 1979)
Recorded and Produced by VGo Recordings
When I first dreamed up what was to become the Boston GuitarFest, I wanted to bring together people from all corners of the world and from every conceivable discipline to shed new light on the classical guitar, its conundrums, and its rich legacy.
Boston GuitarFest, at this writing just short of its second birthday, seeks to appeal to music lovers and guitar aficionados of all ages, but in particular it aims to give young players a boost. Even though I am famously a foe of guitar competitions for all the easily imaginable reasons, I decided to make a low pressure guitar competition a part of our festival in the hope that such an event would be of use to all those participating whether they won prizes or not.
Due to an administrative oversight, we ended up with a four (rather than 3 or 5!) person jury. Thus Jury President Bruce Holzman of Florida State Unviersity was assisted by Professor of Piano, Veronica Jochum, and Professor of Viola, Martha Strongin Katz, both of New England Conservatory, and by jazz guitarist extraodinaire, Professor David Tronzo of the Berklee School of Music. And in good democratic fashion our distinguished jury split right down the middle over the first prize. For this reason, in true solomaic manner, our winners’ CD is also split down the middle.
As the Director of Boston GuitarFest, I am more than proud to join Vicente Go of VGo Recordings in presenting our joint first prize winners, Steve Lin and Joseph Williams II, in their CD debuts featuring an unusual and varied program of virtuoso guitar music of 3 centuries.
As always, our thanks to the one and only “General” Vicente Go, without whose infinte patience, perseverance and generosity this project would never have come to fruition.
Boston, MA - April 12, 2007
"Any avid classical guitar enthusiast is going to love listening to this recording, but before I can tell you why, there is some explaining to do. The disc was originally intended to feature the top prize classical guitar competitor from the 2006 Boston GuitarFest, however, come the time of the competition the festival unexpectedly found itself with an even number of adjudicators. These four jury members in turn could not agree whether Steve Lin or Joseph Williams II was more deserving of the award. They instead decided to declare a draw, and thus this completely unique album came to be. It is extremely unusual to find a disc that is an even division of solo performances by two individuals, and the result is an unexpected dynamic that I have never felt in a recording before. There is an added excitement knowing that these two had so recently competed against one another, and in doing so had garnered such indecision from the judges.
Listening to the recording from start to finish, first hearing Williams then Lin play their individual selections, you feel as if this is now your opportunity to be the adjudicator. Indeed they are both highly skilled and sensitive musicians. Both their competition programs run the entire gamut, covering several time periods as well as varying degrees of technical and musical difficulty. The result is a thrilling musical journey that reaches two completely separate and individual climaxes as each performer battles for the spotlight. Following this, as if to reconcile their differences in a cooperative final touch, the two come together to perform a duet written by Williams. Having had a taste of what the Boston GuitarFest adjudicators endured, I too would have had great difficultly choosing a winner. However, they must be commended, because their compromise has led to the creation of one of the most innovative and exciting discs I have ever reviewed."