Archive for the ‘Recordings’ Category

Thank you 2017!

2017 was musically exciting and adventurous. New collaborations with wonderful musicians and composers pushed me in new directions, for which I am grateful. I am extremely grateful for the friends and family that listen, support, and attend concerts. Also, to the many students who work every day to be better musicians and to find the music in daily life. 

May 2018 be all that you wish for: to good strings, exciting music, and lovely people!

Happy New Year!
Aaron

Musical Highlights of 2017

Concerts in Granada & Extremadura, Spain with cellist Kathleen Balfe
(Spain premieres by Thomas L. Read & Tom Flaherty)

Composers Ian Wiese, Tim Pence, Vineet Shende, Francine Trester, Scott Wheeler, & David McMullin

All-New Lullaby Concerts at the ICA Boston and Coaster Theater, Oregon!

New Lullaby World Premieres by Vineet Shende, Ian Wiese & Stanley Hoffman (New Lullaby Premiere #52!)

A World of Guitar kickoff tour in Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee with guitarists Peter Janson and Steve Davison

World premieres of Carnatic Preludes, After J.S. Bach (N. 1, 11) by Vineet Shende

Concerto debut with the North Shore Philharmonic under Robert Lehman

All-John Cage concerts in Mainz, Germany and the Mantova Chamber Music Festival, Italy

Recorded Concert Champêtre for cello & guitar by Thomas L. Read with Rafael Popper-Keizer

Astoria Music Festival debut with bass-baritone Richard Zeller

A World of Guitar west coast tour of Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona with Peter Janson.

Lecture and performance for the 2017 MU PHI EPSILON tri-annual Convention in Denver

First John Cage for Guitar Lecture-Performance at the Mannes School of Music

Publication of John Cage’s Piano Music Arranged for Guitar by Edition Peters!!

Recording begun of John Cage for Guitar at the Kitchen with engineer Steve Hunt and guests Adam Levin (guitar) and Sharan Leventhal (violin)

Recent Fan Letters!

On occasion I get notes from fans following concerts or after they hear a CD or a podcast. Happily, this is occurring more and more!

Here are a few recents:

1 – “A note to say how much I enjoyed your concert. It is one thing to see an accomplished musician play his instrument; it’s quite another to see and listen to a brilliant musician who is at one with the guitar. Truly, as I sat there, I felt the connection between you and your guitar – they were one. This doesn’t happen often, so I’m glad I saw you perform. At times, the guitar sounded as a harpsichord; at others, like a violin. That is a testament to the musician.” – Jan., Oregon

2 – “Your CD. Wow! You have wonderfully braved the criticism of the fuddy-duddy classical ineffectuals. The choices and playing have opened your music to a much wider audience. I’m sharing the experience with friends and family, we are all on board. Another thing I really appreciate about the CD, you are willing to follow the lead of the last half of the 20th century and move away from strictly tonal music. Please keep it up.” – David C., Oregon

3 – Aaron, I recently listened to your interview with Bret Williams and videos at Savage Classical — both were excellent!! Thank you for continuing to push the guitar forward!! – Ben R., NY

4 – Wonderful concert yesterday! I was honored to be in the audience. – Mary J., Oregon

5 – “It looks like Aaron is ready to make a big splash In New York. It’s funny, I played his [Legend ofHagoromo CD yesterday, and the thought occurred to me that, if you hadn’t seen him perform it, you might think it was some trick done during the recording.” – Carolyn E., – Oregon

 

“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/

Classical Guitar CD Review

Aaron’s latest CD ‘The Legend of Hagoromo’ (Stone Records 2015) received a glowing review in the Spring 2016 issue of Classical Guitar.

Quotes:

  • “Eclectic and endlessly rewarding release”
  • “Aaron Larget-Caplan is a performer with all the skills and energy required to deliver a truly remarkable contemporary performance.”

Classical Guitar Magazine, Spring 2016

Find it on:
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00ZIILRQK
iTunes: https://goo.gl/2rmsbD

Six Strings Around the World – CD Review

The legend of Hagoromo, Stone Records 2015

“To write that Larget­-Caplan has something to boast about would be to say too little, the guitarist is not afraid of any tempo, with each increasingly spectacular fragment coming through not only with lightness, but with recklessness.”

“The interpretation is refined, every phrase flattering, every sound consciously derived. This artist approaches the played pieces with enormous respect, trying to above all reveal the idea of the composer.”

“A delicious and poetic interpretation of Takemitsu’s Equinox

“Certainly for the better parts ­ and the quality of their presentation ­ the album is worth a listen.”

– Six Strings Around the World (February 2016)

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El Virtuoso de la Guitarra – CD Review

The Spanish website www.GuitarristaOnline.es reviewed Aaron’s latest CD.

The Legend of Hagoromo de Aaron Larget-Caplan

CF005633El virtuoso de la guitarra

Aaron Larget-Caplan es mucho más que uno de los líderes guitarristas clásicos de su generación; es un embajador de su arte, como lo demuestra con su primer CD en solitario para Stone Records que lleva por título The Legend of Hagoromo.

Comprendiendo una mezcla embriagadora de música japonesa y americana, esa fusión-recital es concebida brillantemente y realizada por este virtuoso músico. El disco incluye un número de debut grabaciones que incluyen títulos como Ed è subito sera de Ken Ueno, Sui-hou de Nakamura y Japanese idylls de Martin Schreiner, algunas de las cuales se han escrito específicamente para el, así como la proeza epónima, The legend of Hagoromo – una moderna obra maestra que destaca especialmente por poseer una vitalidad maravLarget-Caplan-coverillosa.

Esa fusión cruzada confluye en el trabajo entre compositores de Japón y de América, donde se escribe música inspirada en la cultura del otro, incluyendo las adaptaciones sorprendentes de Summertime y Somewhere over the rainbow de Toru Takemitsu.
Estamos ante una música clásica carismática, estupenda y magnífica.

El reconocimiento de la crítica no se ha hecho esperar y Aaron Larget-Caplan se ha visto recompensado con elogios hacia su capacidad técnica, su delicadeza artística y su magnífico talento al servicio de los sentidos.

Aaron Larget-Caplan debutó a los dieciséis años. Desde entonces hizo las primeras representaciones de más de sesenta y cinco composiciones y ha tocado en Estados Unidos, Rusia y Europa.
Estamos ante un artista talentoso, un solista buscado y un músico de cámara que se atreve tanto con un repertorio moderno como clásico. Sus grabaciones han recibido el reconocimiento de la crítica de Audiophile, Fanfare, American Record Guide, Guitar Magazine y mucho más.
Como músico de cámara ha presentado obras para conjuntos grandes y pequeños incluyendo coro, cuarteto de cuerda, dúos de todos tipos y grupos mixtos.

Colabora regularmente con bailarines y es el fundador del grupo ¡Con Fuego! que yuxtapone música española clásica con baile y canción flamenco. Él presenta muchos de sus propios arreglos de J.S. Bach, D. Scarlatti y compositores españoles. Su arreglo de “Six Melodies” de John Cage es publicado por Edition Peters y ha derechos exclusivos de Éditions Musicales Alphonse Leduc pour sus arreglos de canciones de Reynaldo Hahn. También es el director y el fundador de Greater House Concerts. Está graduado por el New England Conservatory of Music de Boston donde estudio con David Leisner. Su principal profesor de guitarra fue Dmitry Goryachev y el recibió entrenamiento adicional de Eliot Fisk, Juanito Pascual, y del pianista Seymour Bernstein.

Si quieres escuchar cómo suena la música de este guitarrista, pincha en el siguiente vídeo:

Más información en: www.stonerecords.co.uk

http://www.guitarristaonline.es/noticia/7485/clasica/el-virtuoso-de-la-guitarra.html

27/3/2016

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.