Yamashita is my favorite guitarist and it isn’t even close. He is like Tiger Woods 15 years ago. There’s Yamashita and then there is everyone else way, way, far away. He plays with tremendous passion and his technique is amazing.
I’ve been listening to his arrangement of Dvořák’s New World Symphony a lot lately. Of course, you can argue whether or not it should be played on the guitar and if I had my choice I would certainly listen to the original BUT….it is so impressive what he has done. Just check out his performance of the second movement. Not to mention the third and fourth movements.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of high quality videos of his on Youtube. Here are a couple of my favorites:
The last video is his complete performance of the “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky. Not really a fan of this piece in its original form but I can certainly appreciate his musicality and technique. The guitars greatest strength is the different colors it can produce (dolce, ponticello, etc) and he demonstrates that in the performance even on this awful video recording.
Here is a little excerpt from the score:
How are you supposed to play that trill and the higher chords at the same time??? Guess what? He does it. Watch the video.
Finally, here is nice interview about one of his concerts: