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Raphaélla Smits Guitar Music

Raphaella Smits: (Belgium), In 1986 Raphaëlla Smits gained the first prize in the XX Certamen International de Guitarra Francisco Tarrega, the famous international guitar competition in Benicasim (Spain). It was the first time that it had been won by a Belgian and also by a woman. This prize crowned the first ten years of her career, and at the same time confirmed previous successes in the Granada and Palma de Mallorca competitions. A graduate of the Royal Conservatories in Antwerp and Brussels, she studied with José Tomas at the Catedra Andrès Segovia in Spain to perfect her art. At that time she started to give her first recitals, and has appeared in the major concert halls throughout Europe and America, both as solo performer and in duos. Raphaëlla Smits is also an excellent guitar teacher. At present she gives courses in guitar and chamber music at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven. She has given numerous master classes in many European countries and in the United States. Her teaching talent is responsible for the fame of The International Guitar Happening which she organises every summer in Belgium.

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Raphaella Smits "Harmonie du soir." Johann Kaspar Mertz & Mauro Giuliani. September 2003, CD: ACC23158.

In the first half of the 19th century Vienna was the musical centre of the world, and certainly a center for the guitar as well. As the capital of the empire the Kaiserstadt united many ethnic groups and languages. Here were blended the musical elements established by artists from, among other places, Italy, Germany and Bohemia. The “Viennese Classic” is the interweaving of the Italian bel canto and the German romantic. There were many musical evenings where the most outstanding guitarists made their appearance before the elite of Vienna: among them Mauro Giuliani from Naples and Johann Kaspar Mertz from Pressburg (now Bratislava). The guitar clearly enjoyed an enormous popularity despite the hesitation of some music lovers. Molitor (1766-1848) wrote “although it is already universal, it is still a very misunderstood instrument”. These masters of the guitar from the Viennese Romantic school shifted the emphasis by not appearing exclusively as soloists. In-deed they also happily combined the guitar with other instruments or with orchestra.
Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806 – 1856): Harmonie Du Soir Grande Fantaisie; Le Romantique Grande Fantaisie; Tarantelle; Bardenklange No. 6; Introduction et Rondeau Brillant, Op. 11.
Mauro Giuliani (1781 – 1829): Le Romarin from ‘Choix de mes fleurs chéries ou le bouquet emblématique’, Op. 46; Sonate, Op. 15; Rossiniana No. 1, Op. 119.

Raphaella Smits and Liliana Rodriguez: "Popular Spanish Songs." Federico Garcia Lorca, Manuel de Falla and Joaquin Rodrigo. August 2001, CD: ACC21141.

POPULAR SPANISH SONGS: Canciones españolas Antiquas; MANUEL DE FALL: Homenaje (guitar solo); Siete Canciones Populares Españolas; Romance del pescador (guitar solo); Cancion del fuego fatuo (guitar solo); JOAQUIN RODRIGO: Villancicos; Coplas del pastor enamorado; Tres Conciones - Liliana Rodriquez, voice; Raphaella Smits, guitar - These songs, most of which originate from folk songs, are typical examples of the change to national pride. There is a rich source of exciting Spanish folk music to draw from. The French Impressionism of Debussy, Satie and Dukas greatly influence tone, nuances, finesse and harmony in the broadest sense. Liliana Rodriquez’s natural timbre and professional use of her voice ideally fit this way of thinking. A folksy method of expression complements expert voice control and proper articulation of language. Liliana presents both long ballads and brief songs in an arresting and comprehensible way.
Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936): Canciones Españolas Antiguas; Anda, jaleo; Los cuatro muleros; La Tarara; Los mozos de Monleón; Zorongo; Las morillas de Jaén; El café de Chinitas; Nana de Sevilla; Romance de Don Boyso; Los Pelegrinitos; Sevillanas del siglo XVIII
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946): Homenaje (guitar solo); Siete Canciones Populares Españolas: El Paño Moruno; Seguidilla Murciana; Asturiana; Jota; Nana; Canción; Palo; Romance del pescador (guitar solo); Canción del fuego fatuo (guitar solo)
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999): Villancicos; Pastorcito Santo; Aire y Donayre; Coplillas de Belén; Coplas del pastor enamorado (Lope de Vega); Tres Canciones; En Jerez de la Frontera; Adela; De Ronda

Raphaella Smits: Early 19th Century Guitar Music. Luigi Legnani and Franz Schubert (arr. J.K. Mertz). May 2001, CD: ACC21146.

The compositions of Legnani are typically Italian, sometimes like small operatic pieces, recalling those of Rossini. The virtuoso tempi and the control of contrasts make his Caprices quite unique. Schubert was above all the master of the lied. He composed over 600 and provided them with a guitarlike piano accompaniment. Moreover, the sonority of the 19th century romantic guitar approaches that of the fortepiano.
Luigi Legnani (1790-1877): From "36 Capricci per tutti i tuoni maggiori e minori per la chitarra" (1822): Capricco IX - Largo; Capricco XV - Presto; Capricco II - Allegro; Capricco III - Moderato; Capricco IV - Allegretto; Capricco VII - Prestissimo; Capricco XIV - Largo assai; Capricco XXV - Andante grazioso; Capricco XXI - Allegro giusto; Capricco VIII - Andante; Capricco XII - Allegro non tanto; Capricco XIII - Allegro moderato; Capricco XXVIII - Largo; Capricco X - Allegretto con moto; Capricco XXII - Adagio; Capricco XVIII - Maestoso; Capricco XXXI - Allegro; Capricco XXXIII - Pollacca; Capricco XXXII - Largo; Capricco XXIV - Allegro molto; Capricco XXIX - Prestissimo; Capricco XXXIV - Allegro maestoso; Capricco XXXVI - Moderato; Capricco XXXV - Larghetto cantabile.
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): 6 songs arranged for solo guitar by Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856): Lob der Thränen; Das Fischermädchen; Ständchen; Liebesbothschaft; Aufenthalt; Die Post.

Raphaella Smits: Antonio Jimenez Manjon. November 1998 , CD: ACC2 98131.

The music of Manjón, more than that of other composers, only lives if one truly recreates it every time. Even if it's based on a great logic, it is necessary to learn his discourse. Once acquired, this musical language has a universal impact and engraves itself on memory.
Romanza No.3; Aire Vasco; Noveletta : I. A orillas del arroyo / II. Idilio; Cuento de Amor (Romanza para Guitarra); Célèbre Capricho Andaluz; Leyenda; Quiero y no quiero (habanera).

Raphaella Smits and Jorge Cardoso. Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ariel Ramirez, Jorge Cardoso, Satyro Bilhar and Ricardo Ojeda. September 1996, CD: ACC2 96121.

In the course of many South American tours, Raphaella has made the essential characteristics of the music in these countries her own. With the first recording of the "Tira poeira" of Bilhar, and the "Vals Criollo" dedicated to her by Cardoso, she leads us into heaven.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Preludios No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Ariel Ramirez (1921): Alfonsina y el mar (zamba)
Jorge Cardoso (1949): Na alba, Galicia; Fardel de eisilado; Cos irmans doutra terra (tango).
Sàtyro Bilhar ( ? ): Tira poeira (2nd guit. Jorge Cardoso)
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Chôros of S. Bilhar Suite Popular Brasileiro : Schottish-Chôro; Valsa-Chôro; Chôrinho.
Jorge Cardoso (1949); Vals Criollo; Vals Venezolano (2nd guit. Jorge Cardoso); Vals Peruano (2nd guit. Jorge Cardoso)
Ricardo Ojeda ( ? ): Rasguido Doble (2nd guit. Jorge Cardoso).

Raphaella Smits: "Baroque Guitar Sounds." Silvius Leopold Weiss and Johann Sebastian Bach. October 1993, CD: ACC 93100.

Two legendary masters appealing to our deepest feelings : Bach with an intellectual approach, Weiss as a real romantic in the baroque. These Bach compositions are originally for violin solo and were transcribed by Raphaella from the manuscript. The works by Weiss on this cd were written for the lute.
Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sarabande; Bourree; Tombeau sur la Mort de M. Cajetan Baron d'Hartig; Capricio; Tombeau sur la Mort de M. Comte D'Logy, arrivee 1921.
J.S. Bach: Works from Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato; Sonata III in c major BWV 1005; Partita II in d minor BWV 1004; Partita I in b minor BWV 1002; Sarabande - double; Tempo di Borea - double. Raphaella Smits, guitar (8 string guitar by John Gilbert, 1980)

Raphaella Smits: Fernando Sor and Napoleon Coste. December 1991, CD: ACC2 9182

Sor brought his Spanish culture to France where he spend most of his life, adding a French flavor to his compositions. Coste went on with the work of his teacher Sor respecting the Spanish school : an obvious combination.

Fernando SOR (1778-1839): Introduction et variations sur un thème de Mozart (Opus 9); Fantaisie Elégiaque (Opus 59); Etude Opus 6 Nº 11 (allegro moderato); Etude Opus 35 Nº 22 (allegretto); Etude Opus 31 Nº 12 (andante)
Napoléon COSTE (1806-1883): From 'Six Pièces Originales' (Opus 53 Nº 1): "Rêverie"; From 'Sept Morseaux Episodiques' (Opus 23 Nº 7): "Les Soirées d'Auteuil"; Grande Sérénade (Opus 30).

Raphaella Smits: "Lyrical 20th Century Guitar Music." Jorge Morel, Augustin Mangore Barrios, Joaquin Turina, Franz Burkhart, Richard Rodney Bennett and Frank Martin. July 1990 - CD: ACC2 8966

The XXth century was a most eclectic period. From romanticism to avant-garde, from kitsch to intellectual musical forms, everything was possible. Raphaella has chosen modern pieces, but yet very accessible. Lyrical works from composers that already made history.
Jorge Morel (1931): Sonatina Augustin
Augustin Mangore Barrios (1885-1944): Choro de Saudade; Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios (Gran Tremolo); Vals, Opus 8 No. 4.
Joaquin Turina(1882-1949): Sonata (opus 61)
Franz Burkhart (1902): Passacaglia
Richard Rodney Bennett (1968): Impromptus
Frank Martin (1890-1974): Quatre pièces brêves

Raphaella Smits: "The Romantic Guitar." Johann Kaspar Mertz & Mauro Giuliani. August 1988: ACC2 8863.

During her New York debut recital in 1986 Raphaella met the legendary Mario Maccaferri. A few days later, at the D'Addario mansion, when they got together again, Maccaferri disclosed her the forgotten music of Johann Kaspar Mertz. Struck by its beauty Raphaella reintroduced Mertz' work on this recording.

The idea of combining Mertz and Giuliani is based on the fact that both composers were successful virtuosi in Vienna during the 19th century: Giuliani in his pre-romantic style and Mertz in his pure romantic way.
Johann Kaspar MERTZ (1806-1856): 'La Rimembranza'; 'Le Gondolier' (Opus 65 N¡ 3); 'Pianto dell'Amante'; 'Souvenir de Choulhoff'-Mazurka; 'Ständchen'; 'Liebesbotschaft'; 'Le Carnaval de Venise' (Opus 6).
Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829):
'Grande Ouverture' (Opus 61); 'La Chasse'-Rondeau (Opus 109); Variazioni (Opus 112).

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