I enjoy Rodrigo y Gabriela‘s classical guitar cover of Metallica’s instrumental “Orion” (get the cd or mp3 from amazon.com) far more than I should admit. I will resist the temptation to point out how extensively mid-period Metallica and similar artists have borrowed the melodic and vertical materials of flamenco and just note that — except for some ill-advised signal processing during the bridge (on the recording, that is, not in the live video) — this song is wholly entertaining.
Keyboardist Enrico Baiano is apparently known for flexible tempi and unconventional interpretations. His live recording of Scarlatti’s sonata K.119 at the 2007 Scarlatti Music Festival in Japan (iTunes link; it is not in print on physical media as far as I can tell) is pretty over-the-top, in a great way. K.119 is one of Scarlatti’s more guitaristic works, and Baiano’s performance dramatically accentuates this element, presenting Scarlatti as a sort of proto-Romantic, Iberian Eddie Van Halen. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard in a while.
I’ve attached a video of a slightly less incendiary Baiano performance of this piece; it, too, is excellent.
One of the finest achievements of western art is Bach’s d minor Partita for solo violin (BWV 1004); in particular, the Chaconne is technically dazzling, emotionally loaded, and sublime. (For a fun middlebrow musicological excursus on the piece and its relation to German chorales, check out the Hilliard Ensemble’s amazing Morimur album — but be sure to get it on a physical disc; the liner notes explain the project and are spectacular.)
Below are a few beats of Antonio Sinopoli’s guitar transcription of the Chaconne. Unlike Segovia’s famous and idiosyncratic arrangement, Sinopoli eschews scordatura and transposes to e minor; he is otherwise far more faithful to the original. The score I have was published by Ricordi Buenos Aires; it identifies the piece as “Chacona” and the author as “Juan S. Bach” (!)
RIYL: Music for the rest of your life.>