David Leisner: Classics & Discoveries DVD 92 minutes $24.95
Internationally renowned classical guitarist David Leisner plays a live concert program with some pieces that are well-known and others that may be new to guitarists. One of the discoveries is the Sonata in b minor by Wenzeslaus Matiegka (1773-1830), an unduly neglected composer that Leisner calls the Beethoven of the guitar. It’s a great addition to the guitar repertoire.
Another discovery is Leisner’s own Nel Mezzo: Sonata, which Soundboard magazine called an original and profoundly personal work...powerful, angry and moving music. Now played quite a bit, the music of Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856) was virtually unknown when Leisner recorded and published some of his music almost 30 years ago. Here, two of Mertz’s pieces display the passionate Romanticism of this music. The classics include the sublime Prelude, Fugue and Allegro by J. S. Bach, two delightful Rags by Scott Joplin in Leisner’s arrangements, and a dazzling encore of Etude No. 12 by Villa-Lobos.
Leisner introduces each piece informally and is interviewed during intermission by Andrew Dickenson. The interview covers a number of topics in depth, including some of Leisner’s secrets about easing physical tensions while playing the guitar, and his thoughts about the music he’s playing and about composition.