Album Review of
Three Novellas for Guitar and Orchestra

Written by Robert Silverstein
October 11, 2023 - 12:27am EDT
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Best known for his early affiliations with guitar icon John Fahey and the Takoma Records label, California guitarist Toulouse Engelhardt returns in 2023 with Three Novellas For Guitar & Orchestra. Released on his own Five And Dime Universe label and distributed by MVD Entertainment Group, the 12-track, 49 minute album features Toulouse performing on classical nylon string guitar backed by what sounds like a full orchestra. The album has a very classical feel and in that way, it is similar in scope to early guitar orchestra works of guitar legends such as John Williams, especially his work in the early 1970s with symphonic conductor Andre Previn, and also the original classical guitar guru Andres Segovia.

Toulouse proved his diversity of talent on his 2014 album Mind Gardens yet Three Novellas For Guitar & Orchestra is another style completely. Even though he grew up in the world of California surf-rock icons like Dick Dale and The Ventures, Toulouse is truly a guitarist with a flair for the extraordinary and Three Novellas For Guitar & Orchestra makes a very unique sonic statement in its own right. With musical direction and orchestra conducting by Christopher M. Allport and orchestrations and arrangement by Timothy Jensen, Three Novellas For Guitar & Orchestra is a bold musical statement by guitar hero Toulouse Engelhardt.