Recent Releases Tuesday: Sheet Music by Frederic Hand, David Leisner, François de Fossa, and Benoît Albert

Benoît Albert

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 per se (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

Here is a link to our previous listings from October 25November 8November 22December 6December 20, January 3, January 17, January 31, February 14, February 28.

Frederic Hand
A Psalm of Thanksgiving (for flute and guitar)
Handwerks Music, 12 pp. plus parts

Appealing, tuneful, serene flute-guitar duo by one of America’s top guitar composers. Hand says in the notes to the piece that the inspiration was Psalm 100 from the Old Testament: “It begins with a musical dedication, using unisons and octaves. The flute entrance reflects the opening words of the psalm: ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,’ and the rest of the piece was informed by each line of the psalm.” You can hear Hand performing the piece with flautist Jayna Nelson on this YouTube audio recording, which is taken from Hand’s excellent album,  Odyssey.


David Leisner
Away: A Fantasy on ‘Shenandoah’ for Flute and Guitar
Theodore Presser Company, 12 pp. plus parts

Description from Leisner’s website: “The folk tune ‘Shenandoah’ provides the material for this piece, commissioned by the Diller-Quaile School of Music for the Arc Duo.  Small fragments of the tune are each explored obsessively, to hypnotic effect. While the music never abandons the tonal language of the song, there is, instead of harmonic conflict, more rhythmic conflict. It is all set in the context of a journey along a river, with episodes evoking currents, a rolling river, rapids, waterfall, calming waters, canyon echoes, and still waters.” Advanced. You can hear the Arc Duo (Heather Holden, flute, and Bradley Colten, guitar) perform this intriguing piece in this YouTube audio extract from their 2012 album New Works for Flute and Guitar.

François de Fossa
Première Fantaisie Op. 5 (solo guitar)
Ut Orpehus, 16 pp.

François de Fossa (1775–1849) is perhaps best-known for his three guitar quartets (Op. 19) published in 1826, and for his work helping his friend Dionisio Aguado on his influential 1825 Escuela de Guitarra method book. He was firmly rooted in the music of the classical period, influenced by Haydn, Boccherini, and others. Below, watch Gabriel Bianco (featured in last week’s new CD release announcements for his work with oboist Michaela Hrabankova) play this challenging early de Fossa piece. The Ut Orpehus urtext edition was edited by Fabio Rizza.

Benoît Albert
Les Anecdotiques Vol. 2 (solo guitar)
Les Productions d’Oz, 16 pp.

Prolific French guitarist offers a set of five pieces in varying styles. Their titles: Imaginary Tango, Les aéroplanes de Méliès, Noupour, Green Spanish Taratula’s Sleeves (based on Greensleeves), and Nico de Buenos-Aires.  Advanced. Watch below to see Imaginary Tango played by Stèphane Nogrette, to whom the piece is dedicated.