Updated: Sep 10

Click on this above image to listen to chamber music version and view video.

This composition is taken from my much larger work titled September Eleventh which I composed in 2001. The arrangement by Philip Rothman for Violin, Guitar and Cello, is the last in a series of at least three iterations of this work. The other versions are September Eleventh, for solo Guitar, which is the complete composition. The next version is Ground Zero which is recorded for solo guitar on the Dos Almas label.

This work is meant to honor the memory of those who died, and their families who still suffer. I have musically painted a sad but hopeful aura of of the feelings elicited from this tragic event.

There are not enough words to thank my team of artistic professionals who collaborated with me for this recording, performance and video: Philip Rothman, arranger. Richard Altenbach, producer, violinist, & mastering, Grass Valley, CA Susan Lamb Cook, cello, Sacramento, CA Playland Recording Studios, Larry Uzelac, Auburn, CA Zen Ritual Creative Video Studios, Petrina Olson, Las Vegas, NV.


(solo guitar version) :

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This recording differs greatly in feeling and effect from the recording presented to you in my previous Blog Post, “TIMELINE OF TRAGEDY THROUGH SONG” which displays "REFLECTIONS 911" in the agony of a sad minor key to memorialize September Eleventh.

With this Bach composition we transition into a completely different mood and a welcome change of subject and expression. The recording of this prelude is from my CD titled Guitarra Clasica II.

Bach composed this prelude in G major for the cello. Most of us guitarists play this work in the key of D major, and I am pleased to play my arrangement here for you of this bright optimistic Bach.

One of the great pleasures of playing the guitar is being able to make Bach's music, which was originally composed for solo lute, cello, or violin come to life! No, there are no Bach works specifically written for guitar, but the polyphonic capabilities of our six strings allow us to realize the art of Bach’s magnificent compositions when we play them with the beautiful rich voice of our sonorous, and intimate instrument.

After hearing a guitar version of the famous Bach Chaconne in d-minor from the Solo Violin Suite, an accomplished violinist friend of mine commented about how much better Bach sounds on the guitar than on bowed strings!

Have you had any experiences like this? We hope you enjoy this lovely composition!


to access and hear this prelude and Lou's Bach SoundCloud Playlist...)

Prelude from the Cello Suite in G-Major BWV 1007, arranged by Louis Valentine Johnson, ASCAP, for guitar in D Major.

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From the CD "The Book of Baroque According to the Guitar of LVJ" Composed by Arcangelo Corelli 1653-1713 Sonata No. 12 Op. 5 Transcribed & Performed by Louis Valentine Johnson DR. MARK A. RADICE writes in the CD liner notes about this composition: The earliest examples or pieces bearing the designation folia are Portuguese works of the fifteenth century. These compositions characteristically combined vernacular texts with instruments in performance of a repetitious succession of chords. By the early seventeenth century, folia settings as choral dances with the accompaniment of the five-course guitar had become popular. According to Covarrubian Horozco (Tesoro de las lengua castellana o Espanola, 1611) the dance at that time was “so fast that…the dancers seemed out of their minds.”

Not long afterwards, the folia was imported—along with the five-course guitar—to Italy, where Francesco Corbetta (1615-1681) made great use of both. Corelli represents the middle Baroque tradition of the Italian string school that was inaugurated by the trio sonatas of Salamone Rossi (1570-ca. 1630) on the one hand and the string orchestra o the Basilica of San Petronio (Bologna) and the works written for it by Maurizio Cassati (ca. 1620-1677) on the other. Corelli continued to give his name on published scores with the annotation “il Bolognese.” Arcangelo Corelli’s folia setting heard here concludes his set of twelve solo sonatas for violin and continuo that were published as Op. 5 in the year 1700. These twenty-four variations are a tour de force not only of compositional technique, but of performance technique as well. At the same time, this piece, like all of Corelli’s works avoids empty displays of virtuosity.

Corelli was very particular about the details of his publications; opportunities nevertheless exist for the performer to add ornamentation to the passages as they are printed in the scores. Formally the piece is a double hybrid since it combines the harmonic plan of the folia, the meter of the sarabande, and variation technique as well. In addition to the folia settings presented here, I should note that others were written by Alessandro Scarlatti, Johann Pepusch, J.S. Bach, S.P.E. Bach, Franz Liszt, and Manuel María Ponce. To this list numerous additional names could be added .

Lou Johnson has transcribed Corelli’s famous composition from the violin and continuo facsimile, arranged it, and recorded it here for solo guitar.

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