Performer Recordings

For recordings of Leisner’s compositions click here.

Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin

“Both artists perform commendably in this very intimate reading, which sets it apart strikingly from all the many recordings of it I’ve reviewed. Kelly uses his light lyric voice effectively with prudently applied rubato and lovely soft singing. His articulation of the text is lucid and is as thoughtfully delivered as Bostridge’s but without a sense of fussiness…The gentle accompaniment of the guitar allows Kelly to sing softly and flexibly. Also it allows you to hear the work in a new way…Leisner’s clear and flexible articulation of the accompaniment is riveting, with many arresting touches…I found this reading evoking more feelings in me than most recordings I’ve encountered.” Robert A. Moore,  American Record Guide

“Leisner’s transcriptions sound perfectly idiomatic and might very well have been approved by Schubert himself, and he plays them with natural authority…I was enthralled by this reading and will return to it.” Göran Forsling, Music Web International

[Michael Kelly] “invests himself fully into the role with an expressive performance acutely sensitive to the emotional shadings and nuances of the work…An arrangement that enables the expressiveness of Kelly’s vocal delivery and Leisner’s poised guitar articulations to be heard with maximum clarity.” Textura

“David Leisner’s performance of his own arrangements of the Schubert piano parts is extremely successful. Leisner very sensibly does not attempt a literal transcription of the piano parts but rather provides the essence of the original accompaniment as needed to support the voice…My ‘go to’ performance of this work is a version done by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with Gerald Moore. Now at the risk of being accused of hyperbole, I will assert that this performance by Michael Kelly rises to that level. In other words, this performance can stand with the finest earlier recordings… [Kelly has] a voice of exceptional beauty with a very even scale, seamless legato, and admirably steady vibrato…His dynamic range goes from strong fortes to melting mezza voce. The progression of the cycle is from sunny optimism to depths of despair. Kelly and Leisner provide an exemplary journey through that dramatic arc.” Al Kunze, Soundboard

“Leisner’s clever adaptation of the accompaniment and his clear and fluent playing provide a transparent, yet supportive framework for Kelly’s nuanced interpretation. The sparser textures produced by the guitar allow Kelly to really shine, especially in the tender, quieter moments, without compromising the effect of the more dramatic sturm und drang aspects of the song cycle.” David Olds, The Whole Note

Schubert album booklet

Schubert on Spotify

Schubert on Apple

Schubert on Amazon


“A magical outing…exceptional CD…All in all, this is a stunningly successful collaboration in every way.” Blair Jackson, Classical Guitar

“I usually enjoy anything David Leisner presents, and this is no exception. Indeed, as a program, it’s one of the most satisfying I’ve heard in quite a while…Guitar and cello recordings are few and far between, and this is one of the best.” Ken Keaton, American Record Guide

“This CD is not just for classical listeners—anyone who loves beauty and wants more of it in his or her life should buy this recording.” The Tannhäuser Gate

“Leisner and Bailey have created a masterpiece with Arpeggione.”  Guitars Exchange

Arpeggione on Amazon

Arpeggione on Amazon Downloads

Arpeggione on Spotify

Arpeggione on Apple Music

Facts of Life

“An important recording event…Facts of Life, a terrific piece, solidly structured as only a few other pieces of the contemporary repertoire, extraordinarily rich in music…an interpreter of lively intelligence and uncommon sensitivity.” il Fronimo

“This is a significant and substantial release..As for the Bach, this extended slick of premium baroque demands copious reserves of skill, stamina, and style, and Leisner shows all three in abundance.” Classical Guitar

“This piece [David Del Tredici’s Facts of Life] should be able to claim a permanent place in the solo guitar repertoire…Leisner’s performance throughout the disc is full of finesse.” Buffalo News

Facts of Life on Spotify

Facts of Life on Apple Music

Facts of Life on Amazon


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“David Leisner is among the finest guitarists currently performing and, given that the level of playing has never been higher, that means among the finest of all time.” American Record Guide

“The enduring and artistically mature David Leisner has produced a highly personal recording of his favorite works for guitar. After a lifetime of playing, studying, listening and honing each to his personal perfect aural image, the result is a program that may well be one of the top guitar discs for an Earth Time Capsule.” CVNC Online Arts Journal

“A consistently enjoyable program…Leisner wrings considerable poignancy from its [Bach Chaconne] wrenching harmonic passages and its long-breathed melodies…Leisner is also impressive in his transcription of Niccolo Paganini’s Grand Sonata, delivering a crisply fleet-fingered rendition that favors clarity and bright articulation to the flashy mercurial (but sloppy) showiness of some other interpreters.” Sequenza 21

Favorites on Spotify

Favorites on Apple Music

Favorites on Amazon


Matiegka, the Beethoven of the Guitar

“Leisner plays with the excellence we’ve come to expect. He is an
assertive, sensitive, inventive, creative musician. He’s discovered some
truly substantial music in Matiegka.”
American Record Guide

“What sets David Leisner apart is the refinement of his phrasing, which he
imbues with clear, convincing and original intentions…His playing is
authoritative, without trying to appear so. And he succeeds marvelously,
taking us through this entire recording without a single dull moment.”

Matiegka album liner notes, 2009, rev. 2022

Matiegka on Spotify

Matiegka on Apple Music

Matiegka, the Beethoven of the Guitar on Amazon


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Classics and Discoveries, live solo concert DVD

“I’m already up to five viewings, for there is something magical about
watching a master guitarist performing these works.” Guitar Review

“David Leisner has, what is called commonly, a way with him: his
introductions and especially the mid-way interview, show him to be an
interesting and informative conversationalist and his performances
throughout this entire programme are of high standard, both from a
technical and musicianship viewpoint.” Classical Guitar

Classics and Discoveries on Amazon



Self-Portrait, complete works for solo guitar by Leisner,
played by Leisner

“Leisner performs this music with the vigor of Glenn Gould playing
a Brahms Ballade. Every piece on here is inventive and
refreshing, pushing the expressive envelope, while keeping
harmony and rhythm accessible but never boring. Most
importantly, SP never sounds like you’ve heard it before: a must
have for guitar lovers and players alike.” Guitar Review

Self-Portrait on Spotify

Self-Portrait on Apple Music

Self-Portrait on Amazon



Hovhaness Guitar Concerto

“The Guitar Concerto must be numbered among the more
successful works in its genre…In terms of color, texture and
contrast, the music is wholly beguiling and never overstays its
welcome…Best of all, the entire program is extremely well-played,
from guitarist David Leisner on up.” Classics Today

Hovhaness Guitar Concerto on Spotify

Hovhaness Guitar Concerto on Apple Music

Hovhaness Guitar Concerto on Amazon




Le Romantique

“Leisner’s interpretations carry a conviction and dramatic punch that is as invigorating as it is rare in the guitar world.” American Record Guide

“Leisner’s elegant and invigorating performances should provide a wake-up call for guitarists who want to take their repertoires in new directions”. Gramophone

Le Romantique on Spotify

Le Romantique on Apple Music

Le Romantique on Amazon




Music of the Human Spirit

“Orotund sound and richly nuanced interpretations…Leisner’s
performance of the Ginastera Sonata is magnificent, a revelation”
American Record Guide

“A clear winner…Gives Leisner the opportunity to showcase his wit
and personality along with his technical brilliance” Tucson Citizen

Music of the Human Spirit on Spotify

Music of the Human Spirit on Apple Music

Music of the Human Spirit on Amazon




Villa-Lobos: The Complete Solo Guitar Works

“Leisner stands heads above the crowd on this recording.”
Guitar Review

“This is a must-have disc for anyone interested in Villa-Lobos’
music.” Soundboard

Villa-Lobos on Spotify

Villa-Lobos on Apple Music

Villa-Lobos: The Complete Solo Guitar Works on Amazon



Leisner Bach

J.S. Bach – Works for Solo Guitar

“Some of the most stimulating Bach of recent years,
brilliantly conceived and played.”

“a recording that reveals the music’s intimate joy”
Acoustic Guitar

J. S. Bach on Spotify

J. S. Bach on Apple Music

J.S. Bach – Works for Solo Guitar on Amazon


Chamber Music Collaborations




Hovhaness Spirit of Trees,
with Yolanda Kondonassis, harp

“Mesmerizing…Its passages weave a hypnotic musical
tapestry of great delicacy and beauty…The performances are
perfection itself.”

“Superb performances and engineering all around. Leisner’s
a terrific guitarist.”

Hovhaness Spirit of Trees on Spotify

Hovhaness Spirit of Trees on Apple Music

Hovhaness Spirit of Trees on Amazon



Haydn Quartet in D, with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Haydn Quartet on Spotify

Haydn Quartet in D on Amazon