Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

  I searched the Forum but didn't find much mention of recordings on CD, so how about a thread where members can recommend performances they particularly enjoy?

  I'll begin with the CD I have playing at the moment: "Une Larme" by Rosario Conte on the Carpe Diem label. Beautiful playing that really draws me in, often very still and slow. Mostly Corbetta, plus two pieces by De Visee, very well recorded.

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good idea


Hi, John, thank you for starting a fun thread!  Here's my take:

As for the baroque guitar, I also like "Guitar Music" from BIS label by Jakob Lindberg.  I enjoy the recordings of Gazpar Sanz and Francisco Gerrau by Hopkinson Smith, too.  Both are released from ASTREE label.

As for vihuela, I haven't found a lot of recordings I can enjoy.  Milan, Mudarra and Narvaez albums by Hopkinson Smith from ASTREE label are all great to me, although the CDs are not very easy to find now (discontinued?).  I also like "MILAN NARVAEZ Music for Vihuela" by Christopher Wilson from NAXOS.  It is nice to be able to get this wonderful CD cheaply.  Recently I purchased "LUIS MILAN EL MAESTRO (1536) songs & vihuela solos" by Catherine King and Jacob Heringman from Gaudeams label and am very happy with it.

What about recordings with other historical instruments, would anyone object to that

I think that, at least to begin with, we could try to stay with recordings that mainly feature historic guitars and vihuelas - but feel free to broaden it out if we're running dry.

I'll add another that I recently discovered and am currently enjoying: "Harmonie du Soir" - Raphaella Smits playing Mertz and Giuliani on the Accent label.

have that. Not my favorite though, sorry to say


Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any historic vihuela that can be used for the recordings.  So far as my very humble knowledge can cover, no original renaissance guitar has been located.  Oh, well.


As for the recordings featuring historical guitars, there have been interesting recordings like "Guitar Collection" by Nigel North from Amon Ra label.  He uses historical guitars by Belcior Dias from 1590, J.B. Salomon from 1760, Gennaro Fabricatore from 1818, etc.).

There is also a recording by Chris Henriksen called "La Guitarre Royalle" from mfa Boston label.  He uses Nicholas Alexandre Vobam II 5-course guitar from 1680 (for Corbetta, Visee, Lully, Grenerin and Campion) and Jean-Baptiste Champion from about 1790 (for Pierre Jean Porro, Antoine Marcel Lemoine and Antoine de l'Hoyer).  The latter is single-strung.  Both guitars are the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

OK, perhaps I should have said 'historic guitars and copies thereof'! 

The recordings you mention are interesting though, Akira.

John, unfortunately again, your revised rule of the game won't change the situation at least for vihuela and renaissance guitar!  Let's hope that some artists will record with Diaz or Chambure vihuela copies like the ones by Alexander (Batov).


I also have and like Rafaella Smits' CD you mentioned.  I also enjoy listening to "LUIGI LEGNANI 36 Capriees, Op. 20 and Fantasia, Op. 19" CD by Pavel Steidl using a copy of Legnani model (by Bernard Kresse?).  He has other recordings of the music of the same period, but he recorded some of them using modern classical guitars.  There is another CD recorded by Richard Savino called "CARULLI Guitar Sonatas Op. 21, Nos. 1-3, Op.5" on which he uses a period insrument (Lamy?).  Both are released by NAXOS (yes, they are very very affordable!).

A must have if you like Giuliani:


Giuliani, Complete works for Guitar Duo

Duo Maccari-Pugliese

on period instruments

Brilliant Classics 93381


I love these guys. They play on original instruments by Fabricatore, Pons, Guadagnini, Lacote, Panormo. Vinaccia and Garganese (terz). All with gut strings using historical technique, so it seems.


I've got a few of their recordings but this is my favorite at the moment. Check them out on youtube, they have so much fun playing.

I like Giuliani and have this CD. I have all the recordings with Duo Maccari-Pugliese very nice



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