La Hora Azul (The Blue Hour)

by Louis Valentine Johnson

Released 2000
Dos Almas
Released 2000
Dos Almas
A lyrical collection of acoustic guitar solos that is both meditative and passionate.
"This remarkable collection of mostly 16th Century Spanish Guitar music is performed with astonishing grace and restraint... Johnson's playing is superb, delightfully clear and tasteful - throughout this first in a series devoted to the history of music for the classical guitar."
-Richard Dunk,
KVMR- FM Program Guide, Sacramento California.

"Johnson is a skilled and sensitive interpreter, not only of pieces by venerable masters such as Fernando Sor and Heitor Villa Lobos, but also those by contemporary composers such as Jose Luis Merlin and Mark Radice. There are also several guitar transcriptions by Johnson himself, including Tartini's well-known string sonata, "The Devil's Trill," which Johnson plays with fire and finesse. A beautiful album."
--Victory Music Review
June 2002

"Louis Valentine Johnson plays the guitar with amazing clarity. Each note is perfectly articulated and beautifully formed. His tone is full of light and richly colored. His playing of this music emobodies a profound respect for its history and gives the listener an illuminating personal encounter with the composer and the period."
-Dr. Suzanne Gasster,
Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"Louis Valentine Johnson's work is stellar. His choice of compositions and delivery is impeccable. His music soothes the soul. Recently, I backpacked through the Grand Canyon and I had the joyous experience of listening to his latest CD while exploring this ancient marvel. The colors and textures of his work seemed to embellish this already majestic canyon. As the canyon reveals layer upon layer of marvel, so too is the beauty and depth of Johnson's incredible guitar work."
-Hugh Glasco, Motherlode Attractions


Louis Valentine Johnson
Guitarist and Composer

Louis Valentine Johnson has performed and recorded as a soloist, and with orchestras in the U.S.A., South America, Mexico and Canada. A Recording Artist with four solo CDs, and a fifth due to be released later this year on the Dos Almas Label, Louis Valentine Johnson's recordings were reviewed by Carlos R. Alicea, BMG Records, New York City, who wrote:
"...rarely recorded works coupled with Louis Valentine Johnson's great playing."
Recent concert bookings have been in Seattle, Pullman, Chico, Sacramento, Fairfield, and San Francisco, as well as performances in Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. In addition to having recorded four CD's, most recently "Goodbye To Mexico," his radio and television credits include National Public Radio-Classical Broadcasts, KQED-San Francisco, KVMR- Nevada City, and KWSP- Santa Cruz.

Louis Valentine Johnson recently composed the solo guitar work, "American Reflections." This composition was funded by Meet The Composer with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, and the Virgil Thompson Foundation. This four movement piece includes "September Eleventh," which memorializes the human tragedy in Manhattan, Washington DC and Philadelphia, "Goodbye to Mexico," a composition written in memory of the thousands who die each year, but specifically for fourteen Mexican citizens who died at the Arizona-Mexico Border in May 2001, "Children Dancing" and "Walking the Yuba River" are movements in this work, which are also recorded on "Goodbye To Mexico."

The well known New York Composer, Mark A. Radice, recently composed and dedicated a composition, Tocatta, Evocation, and
Fandango, to Louis Valentine Johnson (see The Blue Hour CD at Louis Valentine Johnson has also transcribed Tartini's The Devil's Trill, Corelli's La Folia , and several other pieces for guitar, adding to the performance repertoire.

Louis Valentine Johnson is a graduate of Idaho State University, where he received an undergraduate performance scholarship and a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar. He also graduated with honors from San Francisco State University, receiving the Master of Arts Degree in the Guitar Performance Program. Master class studies include classes with Narciso Yepes, Christopher Parkening, Abel Carlevaro, Julian Bream, and Alirio Diaz at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Louis Valentine performs and records with a Jose Oribe "Gran Suprema" guitar. Maestro Ken Hardin, Conductor of Orchestra Panache recently wrote:
"Louis Valentine Johnson is a polished artist. He is creative in performances and continues to bring new works to the concert stage. It has always been a pleasure collaborating on our orchestral performances with Lou."

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