Notes 57.3 (2001) 759-762
Daniel Asia. Your Cry Will Be a Whisper: For Solo Guitar (1992). Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Merion Music; Theodore Presser Co., sole representative, c1996. [Notes, 1 p.; score, 15 p. 144-40239. $16.50; duration: ca. 139.]
Milton Babbitt. Composition for Guitar (1984). New York: C. F. Peters, , c1985. [Notes, 1 p.; score, 9 p. Edition Peters no. 67028. $12.50; duration: ca. ... [Show full abstract] 89.]
Chester Biscardi. Resisting Stillness: [For] Two Guitars (1996). New York: C. F. Peters, c1998. [Performance notes, 1 p.; score, 5 p. (2 copies). Edition Peters no. 67693. $7.50; duration: ca. 49.]
Robert Baksa. Sonata da giardino (for Solo Guitar) (1998). Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Composers Library Editions; sole agent: Theodore Presser Co., c1998. [Score, 11 p. CLE-95; 494-02364. $9.50; duration: 109.]
Daniel Pinkham. The Seasons Pass: For Solo Guitar. Boston: Ione Press (ECS Publishing), c1988. [Notes, 1 p.; score, p. 3-15. Catalog no. 4583. $7.95; duration: 149.]
Peter Sculthorpe. From Kakadu and Into the Dreaming: For Solo Guitar [1993/94]. London: Faber Music, c1994. [Composer's and performance notes, 1 p.; score, p. 2-13. ISBN 0571-51518-5. $13.40; duration: ca. 179.]
Toru Takemitsu. In the Woods: Three Pieces for Guitar . Mainz: Schott, c1996. [Notes in Jap., Eng., 1 p.; score, p. 3-13 (foldouts). ISBN 4-89066-399-1; SJ 1099. $9.95; duration: 13.59.]
Roberto Sierra. Tres homenajes húngaricos (Three Hungarian Tributes) for Two Guitars (1994). Edited by Julian Gray and Ronald Pearl. New York: Subito Music Publishing; sole selling agent: Theodore Presser Co., c1994. [Program note, 1 p.; score, 21 p. 494-02193. $11.95; duration: ca. 129.]
Richard Wernick. Da'ase for Solo Guitar . Edited by David Starobin. Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Theodore Presser Co., c1998. [Score, 5 p. 114-40921. $5.50; duration: ca. 39.]
George Rochberg. American Bouquet (Versions of Popular Music) for Guitar . Edited by Eliot Fisk. Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Theodore Presser Co., c1998. [Program notes, pref. (E. Fisk), front cover verso; score, 24 p. 114-40631. $19.95; duration: ca. 309.]
During the twentieth century, the classical guitar underwent a shift away from the long-standing tradition of the performer-composer to virtuoso performers who inspire specialist composers, who typically are not themselves guitarists, to write new works for the instrument. Such efforts to enrich the repertory by Andrés Segovia and Julian Bream have been particularly fruitful. Following this lead, all but one of the guitar compositions reviewed here are dedicated to prominent performers. Such dedications usually imply the performer played a collaborative role by advising the composer on technical matters, hence the presence of commentaries, performance notes, editorial markings, or fingerings added to the score by the dedicatee. Such addenda can be especially valuable for ensuring that the composer's intentions translate to the reality of the guitar's strings and fingerboard.
Dedicated to Benjamin Verdery, Daniel Asia's Your Cry Will Be a Whisper is a good case in point. This piece's three movements comprise an almost minimalist work that draws many of its motives from the small motion of unison pitches (played simultaneously on two strings) expanding into seconds. Extended patterns of such very close intervals can pose technical problems, even impossibilities, for the guitarist in that it is all too easy to ask for two pitches that would have to be played simultaneously on the same string, or to demand that the left hand span more frets than practicable to produce seconds on two strings. Despite the dedication to Verdery, the score bears no obvious evidence of the guitarist's editorial hand, and this absence is detrimental to a player's approach to...