A New Record: “Con Spirito,” Guitar Music by Peeter Prints

Peeter Prints’ (1961) sheet music publication “Ballads, Preludes, Arias, Etudes, Blues” is likely familiar to all classical guitar students in Estonia from the beginning of the 1990s until now. The enduring interest in Prints’ music cannot be explained simply by the fact that there is a lack of printed music by Estonian authors for classical guitar. Rather, it is the music itself that appeals to both students and their teachers, introducing the sounds of pop and jazz through the technique of classical guitar playing.

In addition to this pedagogical collection, Peeter Prints has also created works for professional performers. The selection of Peeter’s works on this album was made by guitarists, some of whom have been students and colleagues of his. Not all composers dare to compose beautiful music.

The Story Behind the Grand Bagatelle

The piece that I perform on that record – Grand Bagatelle Pt I & II – was composed about 20 years ago for a guitar composition competition. It was randomly assigned to me as an anonymous piece, but I got some virus and could not learn it on time. Instead, the composer had to come out and attempt to play it himself. Years later, when Peeter was approaching 60, I decided to clear my debt and finally learn that piece. Together we made a fresh version with new engraving and thorough editing. It was still very hard for me to play fluently, as Peeter has a very personal style.

People Behind and on the Album

More than a dozen musicians were involved, and since it was the Covid period, things didn’t always go smoothly. However, the delay was luckily not too bad, and we could still deliver the first CD to the composer during the year of his 60th birthday.

Performers: Priit Peterson (1, 10), Kirill Ogorodnikov (2), Kristo Käo (3,4,9), Vahur Kubja (5), Julia Reinman (6), Andre Maaker (7), Vaido Petser (8), Siim Petser (8), Jorma Puusaag (9), Amanda Guzmán (10), Siim Kartau (11), Sulo Kiivit (11), Argo Vals (12), Karl Petti (12), Marek Talts (13), Indrek Palu (13), Peeter Malkov (14), Peeter Prints (14).

Published by Kitarrikool Records in 2021 on CD and in streaming. Produced by Kristo Käo. Mix and master by Nikita Shishkov, cover art by Mari-Liis Link.

The album was aired on the Estonian National Broadcasting Company’s Classical Music Radio Station Klassikaraadio, and I was invited to provide some context on that program. You can listen to it here. Obviously, it is in Estonian.

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