Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

“Stunning Performance” – CD Review

My latest CD ‘The legend of Hagoromo’ (Stone Records, UK) received a stellar review in ‘The Triangle’ the quarterly magazine of the professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon. Read the complete review and find links for purchase below.
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Amazon: http://a.co/iyMs1Zd
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-legend-of-hagoromo/id1007477239
ArkivMusic: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2135600

The complete Fall 2016 issue of ‘The Triangle’: HERE

Classical Guitar Insider Podcast

Aaron is featured on the November 9, 2016 podcast ‘Classical Guitar Insider’ hosted by Bret Williams. The two met in July and discussed a range of guitar topics. Listen to it for free by clicking on the link below! Aaron’s portion starts at 22:45.

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Bret & Aaron in July 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iTunes link to the free podcast:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-87-aaron-larget-caplan/id622648929?i=1000377685584&mt=2

Aaron on Conducting Conversations WCRI

Listen to Aaron being interviewed by Mike Maino for Conducing Conversations. Click on the link below to be taken to the 1-hr episode full of witty banter and great music! Free and available 24/7.

Happy Listening!
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http://classical959.podbean.com/e/06-05-16-aaron-larget-caplan-conducting-conversations/

CD Review by This is Classical Guitar

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The Legend of Hagoromo

American & Japanese Music for Classical Guitar
by Aaron Larget-Caplan
Stone Records 2015
Visit This is Classical Guitar

I recently received this excellent recording, a mix of Japanese and American music performed by Aaron Larget-Caplan. You probably recognize Larget-Caplan from his videos, concerts or his other projects such as my recent review of John Cage arrangements or the New Lullaby Project. Also of note, Aaron Larget-Caplan is the first guitarist and first American to record on the UK label Stone Records, visit their artist page and spot the best bio pic of the bunch. Larget-Caplan-coverI haven’t been doing as many reviews lately but I love albums that have a good programatic concept and this one delivers. No shortage of great repertoire here with all 20th Century to Contemporary works:

  1. Keigo Fujii: The Legend of Hagoromo
  2. Leo Brouwer: Hika, in memoriam Toru Takemitsu
  3. Toru Takemitsu: Equinox
  4. Ken Ueno: Ed è subito sera*
  5. Kota Nakamura: Sui-hou*
  6. Harold Arlen: Over the rainbow
  7. George Gershwin: Summertime
  8. Martin MaxSchreiner: Japanese idyll no.1*
  9. Martin Max Schreiner: Japanese idyll no.2*
    *Première recording 

The Legend of Hagoromo, an epic 18 minute singe movement work by Japanese composer Keigo Fujii (b.1956) is dedicated to David Russel with whom the composer studied guitar. You can find a write up about this work in an article on Aaron Larget-Caplan’s site. It’s a beautiful opening to the album with lush orchestral chords and pacing that ranges from improvisatory to determined forward moving momentum. Excellent musical playing by Larget-Caplan, and believe me, his playing is put to the test with a wide variety of textures and challenges in terms of balance and the large scope of the piece. You get orchestral brushing, sweet melodic lines, a little Spanish touch here and there, Japanese modes, tremolo, harmonics, everything. It meanders a bit but always brings you back with bouts of focused writing. Based on a folk tale, the composer used a 16-bar song by Hiroshi Yamanoha (d. 1991), on the same title, as a basis for the work which helps tie it all together.

Takemitsu was an obvious choice for the album and Equinox delivers the goods. Also, perfectly in line with the album’s concept, Takemitsu’s arrangements of Gershwin and Arlen connect the two countries even if the music itself seems a bit out of place. General listeners will find it interesting to hear the two sides of Takemitsu ranging from contemplative dissonance to jazzy arrangements of American music. The inclusion of Takemitsu also allows some bending of the rules to get Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s Hika, in memoriam Toru Takemitsu onto the album. Larget-Caplan’s Brouwer delivers a focused performance with nice spaciousness where needed.

Personally, I was most interested to hear the new music on the album. On the American side we have a premiere by Ken Ueno (b.1970). Ed è subito sera is an exhilarating and hypnotic work combining some of the best textures the guitar can produce but not in a cliché way. The quick tremolo/arpeggio effect with the surrounding twinkling notes and micotones (bends) are very effective. Too bad this wasn’t a multi-movement work as it’s very successful and well played by Larget-Caplan with a driving determination. My only wish was that the composer would have extended the dissipation at the end to lasted longer. Japanese-born composer Kota Nakamura’s Sui-hou is a slow but steady meditative expanse. I like how the work pulls the listener into single notes while exploring multiple textures around it. The melodic strumming is very successful and handled tastefully by Larget-Caplan. Both works were commissioned for Aaron’s New Lullaby Project The Martin Max Schreiner arrangements of Two Japanese Idylls offer a mirror of the Takemitsu arrangements. These pretty, melodic, swaying works are a beautiful way to cool-down for the end of the album. Plenty of interesting effects reminiscent of traditional Japanese music and instruments: angular strong-weak melodic lines, bends, repetitive alternation, and percussion.

Overall good recording quality, more of a studio sound rather than live. It sounds a bit on the close-mic side with some overpowering mid-range to bass but nothing unpleasing. It does offer a wide spectrum of warm bass sounds to brighter and plucky tones. I think the opening chords of Fujii’s work is well suited to the mix with a warm, almost watery-bell-like sound emerging and the harmonics are nice and soft rather than piercing or too glassy. Maybe Equinox could have benefitted from a different mix but I’m splitting hairs. Also, because of the wide range of textures this mix ensures that the strumming and other effects are not harsh which was the right choice.

 Conclusion

Aaron Larget-Caplan’s The Legend of Hagoromo combines a conceptually strong programme with virtuosic and sensitive performances all-around. From the epic work of Fujii, meditative Takemistsu and Nakamura, to the charming arrangements of American and Japanese songs, this album will not disappoint guitarists or general listeners. More importantly, this is not just a random collection of concert works, but a focused project with new music, artistic creativity, and vision.  Highly recommended. – Bradford Werner (thisisclassicalguitar.com)

Read the full review on This is Classical Guitar: http://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/review-the-legend-of-hagoromo-aaron-larget-caplan/

Publication Review – Six Melodies by John Cage

“The release of such works is very important for the development of the modern guitar repertoire. The transcription of Larget-Caplan has ennobled our instrument.”

Six Melodies – Publication Review by Six Strings of the World (Poland)
Edition Peters, EP68526

“Aaron Larget–Caplan is an American guitarist having in his repertoire a long list of works of six-strings-of-the-world-poland-reviewcontemporary composers. One of the compositions he has shown interest to was the Six Melodies for piano and violin of John Cage from 1955. A. Larget-Caplan has transcribed the piano part for the guitar und has successfully played this composition since 2013 with the violin player Sharan Leventhal. This transcription was released in December 2015 by Edition Peters and was the first published composition for the guitar regarding work of John Cage.

Larget-Caplan is not the first guitar player involved in the work of the famous American musician Cage. The Japanese Kozo Kanatani was interested in the Cage´s work as well, he wrote three arrangements for piano: Dream, In a Landscape and Ophelia, two of them were released as CDs (the Dream as part of the album Renaissance from 1999; In the Landscape on In the Landscape from 2003). Two Italian artists got also connected to the work of the American avant-garde composer, Maurizio Grandinetti recorded on the EQUIvoci, John Cage and John Dowland even eight of Cage´s compositions (exp.) and Andrea De Vitis plays his own arrangements of three Cage´s compositions on concerts as the Aril for vocals and the Dream and the A Room for the piano.

By his transcription A. Larget-Caplan was keeping the part for the violin without changes and has adapted the piano part changing the single sounds and transforming them to another octave. He replaced the components of the chords. In all of the six pieces he was using the scordatura of the sixth string from E to D. His big attention was given to the piano pedal marks, which he tried to translate by setting of exactly accents on tones. From the interpreter’s point of view this composition seems to be not so difficult, but the challenge is made up of in paying attention to tone and articulation and clarifying the sound then many of tones are played in pp or ppp dynamic.

The release of such works is very important for the development of the modern guitar repertoire. The transcription of Larget-Caplan or the arrangements on György Ligeti´s Violin sonata made by the Greek Kostas Tosidis has ennobled our instrument. With help of such artists, works of composers, who never created for the guitar, can be used by guitarists and the non-guitarists are paying more attention and see more potential in our instrument.”
By Michal Lazar
Translated by Agn Cibura, July 2016
March 2016, p. 62
www.szescsrunswiata.pl

2013 Premiere Performance with Sharan Leventhal at the Boston Conservatory

 

New Press Photos

Last week I traveled out to Harvard, Massachusetts to meet with the wonderful composer/editor/farmer/photographer/friend Jonathan Feist. He took some pics of me and I came home with some awesome eggs! Here are a few of the pictures:

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Aaron on TV & Radio

The end of February was very sweet for Aaron with television and radio features on Boston News Network with Chris Lovett and on the nationally syndicated classical guitar radio show Classical Guitar Alive with Tony Morris

Topics include: living in Dorchester, Mass., the publication of Aaron’s John Cage arrangement of “Six Melodies”,  and his latest CD “the legend of Hagoromo”.

Aaron's interview on the Boston News NetworkFor Classical Guitar Alive with Tony Morris Aaron introduces to American audiences for the first time “the Legend of Hagoromo” by Keigo Fujii. Syndicated on over 250 radio station, Classical Guitar Alive is one the leading voices for our beautiful instrument and music.

Aaron’s interview and performance begins at about 12min.

PRESS RELEASE – Legend of Hagoromo

THE LEGEND OF HAGOROMO
Larget-Caplan-cover

AARON LARGET-CAPLAN

CD RELEASE DATE: July 2015 – UK
September 25, 2015 – US and World Release
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Aaron Larget-Caplan is more than one of the leading classical guitarists of his generation; he is an evangelical ambassador for his art, as is shown by this, his first solo CD for Stone Records.

Comprising an intoxicating mixture of Japanese and American music, this fusion-recital is brilliantly conceived and performed by the young American virtuoso. The disc includes a number of première recordings (Ueno’s Ed è subito sera, Nakamura’s Sui-hou and Schreiner’s Two Japanese idylls), some written specifically for him, as well as the eponymous tour de force, The legend of Hagoromo – a modern masterpiece, presented here with stunning vitality.

The cross-fertilisation happens both ways with composers from Japan and the Americas writing music inspired by each other’s cultures, including Toru Takemitsu’s breathtaking arrangements of Summertime and Somewhere over the rainbow.

This is charismatic classical music at its finest – uncompromising, engaging and brilliant.

 

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

“Aaron Larget-Caplan is a riveting artist. His classical guitar performance was a treasure.”

The Washington Post

“Astounding technical proficiency and artistic delicacy”

Boston Music Intelligencer

“The magnificent musical talent of Aaron Larget-Caplan is indeed a gift for the senses.”

Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network

“Your enthusiasm and virtuosity entices listeners both old & young to experience the magic of the concert hall for themselves”

Fanfare
BIOGRAPHY

Aaron Larget-Caplan, hailed by the Washington Post as “a riveting artist”, and noted in Fanfare for his “enthusiasm and virtuosity”, was born in Oklahoma, raised in Colorado, and gave his debut at the Tabor Opera House at the age of sixteen. Since then he has premiered over 60 compositions, and performed throughout the United States and Europe. A gifted performer and speaker, he is a sought-after soloist and chamber musician regularly performing new and standard repertoire and connecting with audiences with a Bernstein-esque ease. His recordings have received critical acclaim from Audiophile, Fanfare, American Record Guide, Guitar Magazine and many more. As a chamber musician he has performed works for small and large ensemble including with choir, string quartet, duos of all types and mixed ensembles. Collaborators include the Rimsky-Korsakov and New England String Quartets, Boston Lyric Opera, and Schola Cantorum of Boston. He is the founder of the New Lullaby Project, a 21st-century commissioning endeavour that invites composers to write classical miniatures in the genre of the lullaby. He released the debut CD “New Lullaby”, featuring 14 new lullabies by 13 American composers in 2010 to critical and public acclaim. He has since premiered over 45 new lullabies coming to him from Japan, Norway, Australia, and the USA by such composers as Scott Wheeler, Ken Ueno, Carson Cooman, Francine Trester and Alan Fletcher. He regularly collaborates with dancers and is the founder of the ensemble ¡Con Fuego!, which juxtaposes classical Spanish music and flamenco dance and song. He performs many of his own arrangements of Bach, Scarlatti and Spanish composers. His recent arrangements of John Cage and Reynaldo Hahn are to be published by Editions Peters and International Music Company (IMC). He is also the director and founder of Greater Boston House Concerts. He is a graduate of Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Leisner. His principal guitar teacher was Dmitry Goryachev and he received additional coaching from Eliot Fisk, Juanito Pascual, and pianist Seymour Bernstein. He is on faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He plays a 2012 guitar by Franco Marino of Sicily, gifted to him by the luthier, and is endorsed by Hannabach Classical Guitar Strings. He lives in Boston with his wife, healer and muse, Catherine.

www.stonerecords.co.uk

 

ENDS

 

Artists: Aaron Larget-Caplan (guitar)Disc: The Legend of HagoromoLabel: Stone RecordsCatalogue number/barcode: 5060192780567Release date: 29 June 2015
Track Listing:1.       Fujii: The legend of Hagoromo2.       Brouwer: Hika, in memoriam Toru Takemitsu3.       Takemitsu: Equinox4.       Ueno: Ed è subito sera*

5.       Nakamura: Sui-hou*

6.       Arlen: Over the rainbow

7.       Gershwin: Summertime

8.       Schreiner: Japanese idyll no.1*

9.       Schreiner: Japanese idyll no.2*

*première recording

 

 

String Endorsement of Hannabach!

I am proud to announce that I now endorse Hannabach Classical Guitar Strings. I use Hannabach Silver 200 Set 900 regularly including for my forthcoming CD The Legend of Hagoromo, to be issued by Stone Records (UK). I have nothing but praise for the strings: colorful, full of depth and personality, agile, smooth, full, and consistent!

I am proud to call myself a Hannabach Artist!

Thank you Hannabach!

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String Order Number 1, 3-15

Hannabach Classical Guitar Strings, Silver 200

Hannabach Classical Guitar Strings, Silver 200

New Press Photos!

After a long wait I am the proud owner of new press photos.  A revamped website is in the works with the wonderful Alex Fed0rov, a new album is almost complete and a new web address:  www.ALCGuitar.com.  It should be an exciting 2014-2015!

Special thanks to Kelly Davidson Studios, EP Levine Studios, and Cory Despres for a wonderful photo experience!

Below are a few samples with my Sicilian guitar, a 2012 spruce-rosewood by Franco Marino.  Which one is your favorite?

Aaron

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