Sheldon Urlik, USA
A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present, 2nd edition
Hard Cover Book, 224 pages
Sales Support the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival

New 2nd Edition Features:
• Three beautifully recorded audio CDs for listening to the collection.
• All new highest quality digital photography and color accuracy.
Over 50 more pages than the 1st edition.
Soundboard thicknesses data tables.
Bridge dimensions tables.
Woods and materials data tables.

This magnificent book is a comparative study of 80-plus Classical and Flamenco guitars in, likely, the finest collection of Spanish guitars existent. A fine collection should include world-class examples and, fittingly, The Collection’s crown jewel, among others, is the 1888 Torres guitar once owned, composed on and played by Francisco Tárrega, probably the most collectible of all guitars.

The Collection spans from the mid-nineteenth century, when the seminal guitar maker Antonio de Torres began the modern era of Spanish guitar making, to the present. All of the great masters are represented in this wonderful book: Antonio Torres, Francisco Gonzalez, Vicente Arias, the Ramirez family, Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso, Antonio Viudes, Modesto Borreguero, The Hauser Family, Enrique Garcia, Francisco Simplicio, Ignacio Fleta, the Miguel Rodriguez family, Marcelo Barbero, Robert Bouchet, Marcelino Lopez, Hernandez & Aguado, Arcangel Fernandez, Daniel Friederich, Jose Romanillos, Paulino Bernabe, Manuel Reyes, David Rubio, Jeffrey R. Elliott, and many more.

Each guitar has a chapter containing a detailed physical description, comments, insights, anecdotes, notes on its maker and an array of photographs. For the first time readers will be able to enjoy, compare, and critically listen to the collection’s guitars, individually, on three accurately produced audio CDs recorded by virtuoso guitarists Kenton Youngstrom and Richard Bruné.

The Collection was assembled over 25-plus years as the author studied the classical guitar and grew ever more interested in the instruments themselves and their builders’ place in the evolution of guitar making. Together these splendid guitars magnify the importance of the work that created them, and reveal the differences in woods, shapes, sizes, embellishments, finishes, and construction methods that make each instrument distinctive.

Important New Acquisitions Included in the 2nd Edition:

1. The incomparable 1888 Antonio de Torres rosewood Ex Tárrega.
2. 1880 Soto y Solares. He was a major influence on the young Torres.
3. 1893 Hijos Francisco González. The 2nd generation of the important Francisco González workshop.
4. 1910 Torres fake of the highest quality, attributed to Manuel Ramírez.
5. 1926 José Ramírez II flamenco.
6. 1931 Luis Carzoglio. An extremely decorated guitar with over 70,000 decorative pieces.
7. 1953 Robert Bouchet which shows his early internal soundboard bracing.
8. 1963 Ignacio Fleta Sr. flamenco guitar; one of only four ever made.
9. 1967 Marcelo Barbero Jr. A rare classical guitar from this famed maker of flamencos.
10. 1969 David Rubio.
11. 1969 Vincente Camacho.
12. 1972 Jesús Belezar. The less famous son-in-law of Manuel Hernández of Hernández y Aguado.
13. 1991 Hauser III.
14. 2001 Dominique Field. He continues the Julian Ramírez - Bouchet – Friederich line of French luthiers.
15. 2001 Jeffrey Elliott. A highly regarded contemporary American luthier.
16. 2009 Federico Sheppard. A recreation of Agustin Barrios’ stunning 1930 Sanfeliu guitar.

This meticulously written book is printed and bound with much care and premium materials (some seen, some not seen):

The paper used, Topkote 100lb Book, has superior fiber formation, ink holdout, quality of fiber and coating formulation, dull surface, and lower fluorescence, which enhances readability and showcases the photographs and illustrations.
Binding is Smyth sewn, which is a hallmark of library-quality and archival-safe books. The papers are physically sewn into the book using binders’ thread and are further reinforced with fabric and adhesive to create a very durable and usable book.
Vellum-patterned, cloth-covered, hardcovers give beauty and durability.  The hardcovers are cored with heavy binders’ board to resist bending, warping, nicking and crushing.
Marble-patterned end sheets “frame” the book’s contents.
Dust jacket is laminated to resist stains and wear-and-tear.
Pink-gold foil embossing on the cover and spine provides beauty with the dust jacket off.

The results are a handsome book with crisp visuals and pleasing tactile feel that contribute to enjoyable reading, hopefully, for generations. Intangible benefits are retention of value and the pride of ownership that fine books, like this one, often bring.