We get so much sheet music sent to us by various publishers year ’round—literally hundreds of pieces in every setting imaginable (solo guitar, multiple guitars, guitar-flute, guitar-harp, etc.)—but we don’t have the space to write about the great majority of them in our four quarterly issues each year.
So, just as we are now listing new classical guitar CD releases every other Tuesday here, we now use the Tuesdays in between those to announce new print music releases. As with the CDs, these are not reviews (some will be reviewed in the magazine, but frankly most will not), but we think it’s important to at least get the word out about what’s being offered to guitarists out there. Where possible, we’ve linked the titles to the publisher’s website or some other outlet where it can be purchased, and stated the degree of difficulty (if provided by the publisher or it’s obvious). —Blair Jackson
Fish Tale (for guitar and flute)
Hendon Music/Boosey & Hawkes, 17 pp. plus parts
Flowing, mostly serene 10-minute duet piece described by co-dedicatee David Leisner (whose premiered it with flautist Eugenia Zuckerman in 1998 and made the premiere recording for his 2015 Facts of Life CD with Tara Helen O’Connor) as having a “slippery, fluid, evanescent nature.” Composer Golijov: “I was a hallucinated fish before. Or perhaps that’s just a wish. And if it never happened or never will, this music tells how that would be.” Very tuneful and appealing. Intermediate/advanced.
Manuel Blasco de Nabra
3 Sonatas (for solo guitar)
Les Productions D’Oz, 12 pp.
Arranged by Daniel Marx, these three short sonatas (nos. 107, 108, and 112) by 18th century Spanish composer Blasco de Nebra (1750–1784) were originally written for keyboard “and I have tried to remain as close as possible to the original version,” Marx writes, favoring the harpsichord model for his approach to effects: “This has its results especially in fingerings and the notated ornaments.” Style is somewhere between Baroque and Classical. Intermediate.
Partita Porteña (for two guitars)
Les Productions D’Oz, 24 pp. plus parts
Written for Wernicke’s duo with fellow Argentine composer/guitarist Máximo Pujol, this five-part work is, the composer says, “a collection of dances in the style of a Baroque partita, though it is formed by the typical dances of Buenos Aires: vals, milonga campera, tango, milonga, and the final, which serves as the epilogue.” If this opening waltz movement below, “Un Vals Tres,” is any indication, it’s a wonderful piece of work! Advanced.
Overshadow (Notturno) (for solo guitar)
Ut Orpheus, 12 pp.
Moody nocturne from Italian guitarist/composer intersperses quiet, spare sections with more melodic and rhythmic passages, all quite accessible. Jappelli’s bio states that as a composer “he has sought to develop a new and original style that is a fusion of various influences, from expressionism to minimalism, and focuses on form and on the clarity and emphasis of the material.” Judge for yourself from this audio recording of Overshadow by Andrea Dieci.
Éclosion (for solo guitar)
Doberman-Yppan, 7 pp.
Quietly varied, intriguing and ultimately powerful piece from Canadian composer Gagnon (b. 1938) is based on an evocative quote about art from French cubist painter George Braque: “l’emotion est la germe, l’ouevre l’eclosion,” which roughly translates as “emotion is the germ, the hatching is the work.” Advanced.
Listen below to a performance of the piece played by fellow Québécois David Echenberg.