Recordings: Napoleon Coste

The Frenchman Napoleon Coste (1806 – 1883) started playing as a kid with his mother as teacher. In his teens, he became a popular concert guitarist and a well-sought teacher. Unfortunately, his career suffered from the decline of the guitaromania which took place in Paris during Sor’s life time. A broken arm became the end of his career.

Coste has left a large repertoire of guitar music, which is largely forgotten, although guitarists like Pavel Steidl and Raphaella Smits have done much to bring Coste’s music on stage and record again.


One of his works –Recreation pour le Guitariste– offers short and relatively simple pieces with nice melodies. These pieces are nice to play and far apart from the dazzling but very demanding endless introductions and finales of Coste’s concert pieces. Nice material for recording!

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