Jonathan Leshnoff: Symphony No. 4, Guitar Concerto, Starburst
Nashville Symphony (Giancarlo Guerrero), Violins of Hope, Jason Vieaux (guitar)
Naxos Records, 2019
An exciting new release via Naxos Records of the world premiere recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto, recorded by Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux with the Nashville Symphony and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. Additional works on the album: Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos” and Starburst in the recording debut of the Violins of Hope – historic instruments once played by Jewish musicians – released on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The guitar concerto is a work of beauty and virtuosity, the lyrical writing and imitative exchanges between the guitar and orchestra are complimented with elegant orchestration. Vieaux’s musical phrasing, articulation, and tone shine on this exquisite recording. The intense musical lines along with the elegant nature of the writing, especially in the rhythmic third movement, make this a very difficult work and Vieaux pulls it off with ease.
Leshnoff calls the work, “an exploration of worlds, from its mysterious beginnings to its fiery, dance-inspired finale.” Nashville Symphony’s Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero considers “one of the greatest additions to the guitar and orchestra repertoire in recent years.”
“I am so pleased to have recorded this exhilarating piece of music – and with such a fantastic orchestra,” says Vieaux. “It is quite beautiful, and in a technical sense even advanced some of my chops along the way! I have never had to practice any piece for performance more perhaps than this one, but it was well worth the effort, because the concerto has made me a better guitarist.”
Read the album notes about the recording via Naxos.
Jason shares some thoughts on Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto, which he calls an exquisite and virtuosic addition to the repertoire. Jason’s live recording with Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony is out May 2 on Naxos of America.
Guitarist Jason Vieaux joins the Musicians of the Nashville Symphony this weekend for a live recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto. Here, he speaks about preparing for the performance and how it has challenged him to become a better musician.