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ProduitsPartitions pour guitareGuitare seuleRussian Treasures, vol. 1

Russian Treasures, vol. 1

Russian Treasures, vol. 1

Compositeur: MORKOV Vladimir

Arrangeur: GORBACH Vladimir

DZ 3506


ISBN: 978-2-89795-423-9

Guitare seule

28 p.

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This edition contains a selection of solo works originally composed for seven-string guitar by Vladimir Morkov (1801-1864). Vladimir Morkov was a Russian nobleman, musicologist and government official. He was a notable student of Andrei Sychra (1773-1850) – a patriarch of the Russian seven-string guitar, who dedicated to Morkov his guitar school, published in 1840. About two decades later, Morkov produced his own guitar school in an attempt to match the expressive potential of the instrument and its repertoire, which were continuing to evolve.

An important feature which framed the early development of the Russian guitar scene, and of Russian culture in general, was its duality, with Saint Petersburg and Moscow being the main rival camps. In composing new works and transcribing existing ones, guitarists in Moscow were largely guided by the notion of national music such as Russian folksong; whereas in Saint Petersburg, afficionados looked for inspiration in Western European art music, predominantly popular opera. This combination of influences can be seen in the works of Morkov, a native of Saint Petersburg. Morkov, whilst not completely avoiding Russian themes, published volumes of transcriptions of operatic tunes, songs and arrangements of works by Sor, Giuliani and Mertz. This served to further his mission to popularize the guitar and develop its repertoire with qualities from Western art music.

For this publication in particular, I focused on Morkov’s original compositions (with the exception of Homesickness). Among them, his etudes exemplify a skillful combination of economy, expression and originality, while his 24 preludes are the first known attempt to compose a cycle employing all keys for guitar. Arranging these works for six-string guitar, I took the liberty of reimagining some of Morkov’s handling of texture, voice leading and, in some cases, rhythm and harmony. This was done to facilitate the transition between different tuning systems. In so doing, I have sought to preserve the composer’s original intentions – an aspect often neglected in a more literal translation. 

In the early days of guitar in Russia, Vladimir Morkov laid an important stepping stone along the path to establishing and defining the guitar as a versatile and powerful medium. This book of adaptations for six-string guitar offers insight into the unique and innovative qualities of Morkov’s contribution to guitar repertoire.

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