Composed in January 2015, my Suite for Solo Guitar, Op. 21 displays a return to tonality and the modes, albeit these elements are now suspended over a chromatic substructure. From the beginning, I created this composition with guitarist John De Chiaro in mind as inspired by a series of concerts I had recently heard him perform. Knowing John’s preferred repertoire, my Suite appeals to that musical world while also applying my own unique interpretation. I surprised John with the score one day at lunch and, over the next year, he and I worked together to make my original suit the guitar. John has now played the piece on multiple occasions across Louisiana, on local radio and television, and as far away as Pennsylvania. When John played its First Movement for Fred Child, host of public radio’s Performance Today, Mr. Child was duly impressed and asked to hear the remaining movements once they had been recorded. In May 2016, John made a professional recording of the Suite, following his final performance of the work at the Sugarmill Music Festival.
My Suite for Solo Guitar is set in four movements. Its movement titles are more "images" of their musical forms than they are exact adherents. The First Movement is called Leyenda, a Spanish word meaning “legend,” and its model is the Leyenda by Isaac Albéniz which John had recently played. Although there is nothing musical borrowed from Albéniz, my Leyenda paints a similar Spanish desert scene. The Second Movement is called Blues, and it follows the twelve-bar blues pattern characteristic of that genre. The Third Movement takes its name Scherzo from the original meaning of that word as "joke." There are two jokes here, in fact: first, that this is a chromatic movement among tonal neighbors and, second, that although the melodic material wants to develop into a true theme it never can find a way to do so. The Fourth Movement is called Fugue. Although not a literal fugue, the two melodic lines are set up contrapuntally in a fugal manner. The theme of the Fourth Movement is derived from that of the first; its switch into major in its concluding measures brings a nice resolution to the Suite.
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Performances (all John De Chiaro):
Sep. 28, 2015. Holy Savior Menard High School, Alexandria, Louisiana.
Oct. 3, 2015. Coughlin-Saunders Peforming Arts Center, Alexandria, Louisiana.
First Movement played for Fred Child, host of public radio's Performance Today,
as part of his visit to Alexandria in celebration of Red River Radio's 30th Anniversary.
Oct. 9, 2015. Live broadcast from Red River Radio, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Oct. 14, 2015. St. Patrick Church, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Read More Here!
Oct. 15, 2015. Holy Rosary Church, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Included in Abendmusik Alexandria's "Classics and a Contemporary." Program Notes
Nov. 12, 2015. Louisiana College – Presser Recital Hall, Pineville, Louisiana.
Dec. 10, 2015. BrainSurge, Alexandria, Louisiana. First Movement only.
May 13, 2016. Sugarmill Music Festival, Alexandria, Louisiana.
Georges Braque, Woman with Guitar (1913)