Composer, theorist and guitarist Gaspar Sanz was born in Calanda in Aragon in 1640, and in 1674, in Zaragoza, he published the first edition of his Musical Instruction for the Spanish Guitar, containing numerous compositions. Sanzs music reveals him to have been a key figure in bridging two different musical traditions the Spanish and the Italian. We know from his own testimony that music from outside Spain was being performed in Zaragoza in his lifetime, and the cultural influence of Austria, with its leanings for the Italian style, would also have been felt in the city at that time. His book, at once a collection of music and a method, was addressed to both aficionados and beginners, as well as professional musicians. It contains practical and innovative advice on harmony, counterpoint and continuo practice for accompanying soloists and dancers, his vast musical knowledge and creativity demonstrated in numerous original compositions and national and foreign songs. Having travelled the continent extensively, much of his musical education took place in Italy, and he would have encountered these songs and dances there in instrumental versions. Italian classical guitarist Alberto Mesirca was hailed as prodigiously talented in Classical Guitar Magazine, and Kenneth Keaton of American Record Guide praised his album Scarlatti Sonatas as the best Scarlatti Ive heard on solo guitar. He is a two-time winner of the Golden Guitar Award: for Best Recording in 2007 and as Best Upcoming Artist of the Year in 2009. With this release, he has recorded all of Sanzs punteado (plucked) music for guitar, together with the corresponding rasgueado (strummed) parts or dances. He includes his own arrangements of the dances La tarantela and Baile de Mantua, which Sanz published in strummed versions only.