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ProductsSheet Music for GuitarSolo GuitarSonata No. 6 “Kharkiv”, Op. 48

NewSonata No. 6 “Kharkiv”, Op. 48

Sonata No. 6 “Kharkiv”, Op. 48

Composer: BLIOKH Konstantin

DZ 4244


ISBN: 978-2-89852-161-4

Solo Guitar

12 p.


Sonata No. 6 “Kharkiv” for guitar solo was composed in 2021, in the end of the COVID-19 lockdown. At that time my family and I were staying in our home city of Kharkiv (also known as Kharkov), Ukraine for almost two years. We considered that pandemic period as a disaster, but later have realized that it actually was a rather happy time, because a war came to our homeland just a few months later. Since 2022 a considerable fraction of the 1.5 millions of Kharkiv citizens have left their homes, those who stayed have been living under ceaseless missile attacks, and many have been killed. I would like to dedicate this Sonata to the frontier city of Kharkiv and, most of all, to its citizens suffering from the war.

Yet, the music of the Sonata does not have any specific program. Here I will give a brief overview of its main composition elements to facilitate future interpretations.

The first and fourth movements of this Sonata are based on the interplay between the twelve-tone principle and the G-major tonal center, natural for the guitar. Namely, the first movement is based on the interaction of the G-major triad G–B–D of the open guitar strings 2–3–4, ascending motif 1 involving the notes E–F#–A–C# (originally on the first string), and descending motif 2 using the notes E-–C–Bb–A- (originally, on the bass string 6). These elements supplement each other to almost make up twelve tones (apart from the missing F), and the motifs alternate with ostinato fragments where each note in the G major triad is step-by-step moved by a semitone up or down.

The second movement is a Scherzo involving numerous semitones in accented chords and fast passages, as well as chromatic melodic motion in the bass voice. It is almost atonal in some fragments, but has an overall tonal center of A-minor.

The third movement is a meditative Adagio based on a theme composed within hexatonic scale D–E–F–G#–A–B and ostinato chords involving open bass strings E–A–D and semitone B–C.

Finally, the fourth movement is based on the complete twelve-tone theme consisting of two phrases including motifs 1 and 2 from the first movement: G–F–Bb–Ab–C–Eb–D and E–B–C#–A–F#. This theme is presented in its prime and retrograde forms. There are “dialogues” between the first string, basses and open middle strings, similar to the first movement. In the culmination, the twelve-tone theme is performed using the parallel motion of the standard guitar G-major chord with open middle strings across twelve positions.

The Sonata was premiered and recorded (CD Naxos No. 8.574630) by the prominent Ukrainian guitarist Marko Topchii who has also lived and studied in Kharkiv. I am extremely grateful to him for the brilliant performance of this piece.

I am greatly indebted to Productions d’Oz for keeping my original notations in places where these do not conform to the publisher’s style.

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