Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

The guitar works of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco : editorial principles, comparative source studies and critical editions of selected works

The technical limitations ofthe guitar present composers who do not play the instrument themselves but who wish to compose for it with difficulties that can often only be overcome by close collaboration with a performer. It is these difficulties that have discouraged composers from writing for the instrument on their own initiative, and it was not until the early twentieth century that non-guitarist composers were commissioned by performers, most notably the Spaniard Andres Segovia. The Italian Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was one such composer. He eventually became so intrigued by the guitar that he wrote numerous works for it, often on his own initiative, and dedicated them to various performers. He would also give the instrument a prominent place in various chamber ensembles. It appears that the instrument's technical limitations remained beyond his grasp, and his compositions present performers with numerous problematic passages. However, it was never his intention to write in a way that would conform to what was technically acceptable at the time. Instead he aimed to renew the repertoire, and he provided performers with a text that always needed to be adapted for performance. In order to produce texts that were commercially viable, the published editions of his works for guitar had to be heavily edited. In so doing, the composer's notation was obscured by the many alterations which reflect the editors' views as to what constituted technically acceptable solutions to otherwise demanding...

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