Reviews - What do customers think about Mel Bay Juan Serrano/Flamenco Concert Selections?
Good book, poor CD Apr 1, 2008
This book is produced in the same style as Basic Techniques, and with the same thoroughness: each piece in staff notation and cifra, with prefatory remarks.
"Concert Selections" is just that -- highly structured solos in the author's very individual style. For this reason, it is of less interest to beginning students of Flamenco (for whom the material would be too difficult, in any case), and more to students of Sr. Serrano's style -- for whom, of course, it is invaluable.
The playing on the CD is astonishingly poor, dull and lifeless (occasionally, even out of tune, e.g. the Bulería), except for two tracks, the Soleá and the Siguiriya. So marked is the difference that I would bet those were recorded on a different occasion. Still, it does perform its function of showing how these pieces go.
If you are an intermediate player or better, and you like Juan Serrano's style, get the book. The CD isn't expensive, but it's dispensable.
An amazing wealth of flamenco material by a legend Oct 6, 1998
Flamenco Concert Selections
Juan Serrano is a living legend of the Flamenco guitar, with a career spanning 50 years. In this book, he transcribed 12 of his own compositions, based on traditional flamenco forms. There is a great variety of styles and forms included; from the widely popular Bulerias, Farucca, Soleares and Rumba to rare gems like the Petenera and Verdiales. The book is exactly 200 pages long. Each piece is preceded by a short introduction by the author, mainly annotating the history of the specific form. The pieces are notated both in standard notation and in tablature, with large clear fonts. There is a CD available in which Juan Serrano plays all the pieces in performance speed. The level of technique required to play this material is intermediate/advanced. This is NOT a book for beginners or even for people with very little experience in flamenco. But for the intermediate/advanced player that wants to add new pieces in his/her repertoire, both the quality of the material and the value for money can't be beat!
Pros: Great quality of music, Lots of pieces for a small price, ample variety of flamenco styles, includes Tablature and Notation
Cons: High technical requirements, CD has to be bought separately.
VERDICT: This book by Juan Serrano is an indispensable addition to the library of any guitarist interested in Flamenco.