CD: plays Villa-Lobos & Ginastera

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(RELEASE: March 12, 2021)

Few have played these Etudes so well!

Guitar Review, New York


Johannes Tonio Kreusch: guitar


Heitor Villa Lobos (1887-1959) – Etudes pour la guitarra
No.1 Etudes des arpèges
No.2 Des arpèges – Très animé
No.3 Des arpèges – Un peu animé
No.4 Des accords répétés – Un peu modéré
No.5 Andantino
No.6 Un peu animé
No.7 Très animé
No.8 Modéré
No.9 Un peu animé
No.10 Animé (version de 1928)
No.11 Lent
No.12 Un peu animé

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) – Sonata for Guitar Op. 47
I. Esordio
II. Scherzo
III: Canto
IV. Finale

Audio rehearsal: Track 01: Etude des arpéges (Villa-Lobos)

For more information and audio samples, please visit:


Audio Clásica: 5 (out of 5) stars.

Guitar Review, New York: “Few have played these Etudes so well!”

Irish Times: Johannes Tonio Kreusch’s interpretation “… seems to reveal untapped resources in the music and to subvert convention…”

Süddeutsche Zeitung: “A great cycle is being rediscovered: the largely unknown manuscript of the 12 Villa-Lobos Etudes from 1928 exposes the many printing errors of the well-known editions and reveals new compositional ideas. Johannes Tonio Kreusch takes this manuscript as the basis for his interpretation, which “exactly corresponds to the will of the composer. Here a guitarist plays at the highest musical level, who is not primarily looking for the effect of brilliant virtuosity and the rousing South American rhythms and harmonies, but is very seriously dedicated to the works and has settled deeply into the music. This CD is special…”

Johannes Tonio Kreusch was awarded the French Classica Repertoire Prize for his CD “Johannes Tonio Kreusch plays Villa-Lobos and Ginastera” (OEHMS Classics). The explanatory memorandum states:

This recording of the 12 etudes of Heitor Villa-Lobos proves to be a reference recording since the legendary but already older names of Narciso Yepes or Julian Bream. The German guitarist impresses with his extraordinary temperament as well as artistic commitment, which is particularly astonishing in view of his young age (28 years at the moment of recording).

From the first few minutes of this CD, the listener is captivated by a very symphonic playing style, a consummate technical mastery and a rarely heard incantation force; Kreusch is unmatched in his handling of tension and atmospheric changes. By using the autograph manuscript of 1928 of the famous Etudes of the Brazilian composer, Kreusch was able to identify a number of errors that were incorporated and continued in the later editions to the ignorance of the majority of those who have so far dealt with this masterpiece, which is indispensable for guitarists. A critical new reading is always welcome, especially if it is accompanied – as in this case – by an interpretation that, going beyond the philologoschen, musicological and guitarist aspects, makes a masterful contribution to the discography of Villa-Lobo. Consider in particular the 4th Etude, whose repetitive chords here acquire a precisely too mystical intensity and depth, or the 12th Etude, which, Kreusch interprets with frightening restlessness and enormous power, and not to forget the 10th Etude whose version to be heard here deviates quite from what one is usually used to hearing.

On this CD you can hear another major work of guitar literature, the Sonata Op 47 by Alberto Ginastera. Full of allusions to Argentinian folk tunes, Ginastera explores the possibilities of the instrument from a much more contemporary perspective with this composition. Kreusch finds the right tone here from the beginning, carried by an attack that sometimes moves on the border of aggression, but whose power always sounds admirably mastered.

An unusual CD.

about: Villa-Lobos / Ginastera

From the booklet:
Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alberto Ginastera, as the driving forces of the Latin American modernist movement, have composed relatively reluctantly for the “national instrument” of their homeland. In the case of Ginastera, the Sonata Op.47 is the only work he ever wrote for the guitar. But both have enriched the guitar repertoire with the music to be heard here. There is no doubt that the etudes of Villa-Lobos and the Sonata of Ginastera are among the most important works written for the guitar in this century. Both composers make a deep and immediate commitment to the culture and history of Latin America felt in this music and bring the tradition in fruitful contrast with new ideas and sounds of their modernist world. Both the etudes and the sonata were created in Europe. Thus, one could say that Heitor Villa-Lobos and Alberto Ginastera have returned the path that their fathers had come to with them in a arduous way when they brought their foreign culture to the untouched continent. This confluence of such diverse cultures, this flickering between supposedly great contrasts and this fusion of European (avant-garde) music, which is often strongly influenced by intellect, with the music of the natives of Latin America, which originated from archaic originality, form the starting point of the work of these two composers and find in their works for guitar an even more pressing clarity. (Johanes Tonio Kreusch)

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