Review by Graham Wade
The Classical Guitar Journal by Pavlos Kanellakis
The author of this publication, Pavlos Kanellakis, is a guitarist who studied with Elena Papandreou and Oscar Ghiglia, and has won a variety of international guitar competitions, and made a significant number of recordings. He completed PhD studies at the Dublin Conservatory and is teaching at the Musikschule Rohrdoferberg. Switzerland, and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
With this distinguished pedigree in both performing and pedagogy, Dr Kanellakis has turned his considerable energies towards research into the means of providing guitar students ‘with a solid technical background that will allow them to express themselves as effortlessly as possible’. The result of some twenty years of work has produced The Classical Guitar Journal.
The publication, 136 pages in length, is neatly translated into three languages, Greek, German, and English. The presentation of the printed material is of the utmost clarity, on a pleasant cream paper of excellent quality.
The structure of the book divides into sixteen substantial chapters covering almost every element of left and right hand techniques including major and minor chords, string-crossing arpeggios, slurs, the seven modes, left hand stretching exercises, speed exercises, cross-string trills, playing in octaves, etc., culminating in The Repertoire’s 96 Right Hand Arpeggios. The exercises are set out in enormously impressive detail sufficient to satisfy even the most demanding students or accomplished performers eager to advance their technical abilities yet further.
Pavlos Kanellakis is to be congratulated on a remarkable achievement and his book is worthy to be considered on the high pedagogic level of his predecessors in this field. The environment of publications offering technical enlightenment is now most competitive and stretches from Pujol and Carlevaro through Ragossnig to Byzantine, Chiesa, Hill, Iznaola, Käppel, Kovats, Masters, Offermann, Provost, Masters, Yates, Tennant, etc.
This new book has a fresh and energetic feel to it and is the result of prolonged and profound thought, much labour, and many new insights. I would unhesitatingly recommend this work to all guitarists.
Page edited by Kostas Grigoreas