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Reviews

Reviews

Performance Acclaim

 “an exceptional soloist, matching technical accomplishment with interpretive ardor”
Andrew PorterThe New Yorker 

“Jay Kauffman is creative and innovative as an artist, and communicates in his music a personal and compelling voice.”

Sharon Isbin, Juilliard School of Music

a highly expressive, and often improvisational playing style….from sensitive and reflective…to powerful and virtuosic.”

Sean Ferguson, Columbus Guitar Society Newsletter

“an unusual and many-faceted artist….I wish Jay Kauffman the great success which will certainly be his wherever he appears.”

Eliot Fisk, classical guitarist and recording artist

Composition Acclaim

Threnody for solo guitar

“Threnody, the first of five works on the program by Mr. Kauffman, is a highly emotional lament which takes the listener through a spectrum of dark emotions, from its quietly mournful opening to outbursts of intense strumming. The piece was immediately engaging, and a highlight of the evening for many in the audience.”

Sean Ferguson, Columbus Guitar Society Newsletter

“This piece is magnificient and deeply moving, bringing us directly into the richly emotional world of Jay Kauffman.”
Farinaz Agharabi, Montreal Guitar Society Journal

A beautiful, mounrful display for guitar, equally demanding in technique and emotion. A true “lament”
Theodore Presser New Releases

Variations on a Mongolian Folk Song
for solo guitar

Kauffman¹s great range and ease with any style of music is apparent here…This piece deserves a separate article by itself. It is inspired by a popular Mongolian song about the love of a man and his horse, and galloping motif is almost always present, taking on incredible speed at times. This piece is a portrait of Kauffman¹s musical experiences in Mongolia.

Farinaz Agharabi, Montreal Guitar Society Journal

If I say that this piece is written for a guitar tuned to a C# minor chord…..you might think of Koyunbaba by Domeniconi, and you’d be partly correct. Tor that piece is indeed written for the same tuning as this. Having said that, the piece is quite a different proposition altogether…long chords begin the work, before what is described on the score as a shimmering tremolo section of chords, occurs; difficult to achieve, but effective as an end result. Gradually from this hazy beginning, the work picks up momentum and develops into a hectic but excitingly colourful piece of music. The tablature includes various symbols that enhance the ordinary version we all know and love, and is not tricky to understand, once you get used to its foibles. So all in all, a nice piece, effective in a very particular way.

Chris Durnigan, Classical Guitar Magazine, (May 2001)

Variations on a Mongolian Folk Song featured a wide array of right-hand techniques and beautifully captured the image of a horse, which the original folk song depicts.

Sean Ferguson, Columbus Guitar Society Newsletter

Juicy Fruit Shuffle for solo guitar“Jay Kauffman understands the guitar, and his solo pieces give a hint that he really, really enjoys playing. While perhaps not for the unskilled, these pieces are perfect for a competent guitarist who also enjoys “performing”. We think that your audience will have as much fun hearing them.”(medium difficult)

Theodore Presser New Releases

Spooky Blues for solo guitar

“The title sounds as if it’s for the young, first-year student, but unless they have a grade 7 technique and a good feeling for the blues, then this is not for them. “Spooky Blues” is a great bit of fun to play through; it has various effects such as a muffled bass line, nail scraping, excessive bending of notes, tapping nails along the side of the guitar and striking the strings above the nut. All of this, plus a very brief (unintentional?) quote from the Twilight Zone theme tune and the essential blues rhythm of crotchet/quaver triplet beat makes for an entertaining piece of music which could perhaps be slotted into the encore list file. The music is well printed and has plenty of entertaining instructions as well, such as: “slide at the last moment to B or thereabouts without re-striking, then get the hell out of there” and gentle reminders such as “are you still muffling the bass?” Best of all must be the instruction afterthe final bar “Whatever you do, don’t look up and grin”. Great stuff! “

Steve Marsh in Classical Guitar Magazine (January 2001)

 

“Wonderful performance piece for guitar – SPOOOOOOOKY. Love Kauffman’s performance notes (reach over and strike all strings above the nut with right hand – BE CAREFUL).”(medium difficult)

Theodore Presser New Releases