Robert R Jones has put his mark in the classical guitar world with the release of Vignettes, a work that contains 10 original compositions written and performed by Robert Jones. Critics agree that this album represents an important addition to classical guitar works and to the genre overall. This is an excerpt from one of the many reviews written on the Vignettes Album/CD and Robert R Jones:
“The importance of this album and the individual compositions cannot be understated. The composer/guitarist has managed to create music that is both new and refreshing and yet captures the essence of the great music written for the guitar. These pieces will end up on many a performers’ program and are destined to become new standards in the classical guitar repertoire.”
The songs definitely have the feel of pieces written by the masters. Each song is like a miniature symphony, moving through different passages within a single composition.
Another reviewer’ excerpt:
“Though each song is a new composition, there are definite moments where one can hear the ghosts of Albeniz, Sor and Villa-Lobos working their way into Jones’ writing, though never to the point of imitation or to where the guitarist loses his personality within the context of his influences.
Part of any great player’s development is studying the classics, reinterpreting them in a new fashion and then proceeding to contribute their own works to the repertoire. Jones uses pieces such as this to demonstrate that he has a deep respect for the classical guitar tradition, while at the same time not backing down from making his own compositional mark on the genre. “
However, the most important aspect of Vignettes is the deeply personal and emotional meaning that Robert R Jones has with his compositions. Each piece was written based on important events in the composers’ life and the he captures the emotions beautifully and draws the listener in to that emotional place. For example, “Lágrimas del Corazón (tears of my heart)” was written to describe the feelings of the composer after the loss of a baby. You can feel the sadness, loss, and anger in the piece and it forces a listener to recall past loves and losses in their own lives. Again, from a review:
“One of the aspects of Jones’ playing that is immediately apparent is his strong emotional connection to the pieces and his ability to convey that connection to the audience. It is becoming a rare occurrence in today’s classical guitar world to hear a player focus his attention on interpretation rather than technique. Far too often players will rip through a piece, ignoring all of the little details that make the piece unique, and missing opportunities to deepen their connection with the audience. Jones’s approach to the guitar is just the opposite; he consistently sacrifices flash to put more focus on melody, rhythm and emotion.”