Moments Musicaux D780, op. 94
Arranger: Daniel Göritz
Score and Solo Parts
Recorded on the CD "New Transcriptions for 2 Guitars, Vol. 1" kr10099: order CD
The character pieces for piano known as the Moments Musicaux Op. 94 by Franz Schubert (1797–1828) belong to his latest works. They were first published in today’s well-known form as a set of six pieces in 1828. Two of the pieces had already appeared in print, belonging to different collections, a few years earlier: No. 3, entitled Air Russe (Russian song), in 1823 and No. 6, Plainte d’un Troubadour (Lament of a minstrel) in 1824. The other four pieces all date from approximately one year before his death, to the fall of 1827. In the collection of 1828 the earlier programmatic headings were omitted. Whether Schubert himself assigned these titles remains uncertain. Nevertheless, in this era it was common practice for publishers (with or without the knowledge and consent of the composers) to assign such titles, both as a perceptional aid and to increase sales through the choice of the then fashionable French language.
Schubert had a noticeable affinity for the more intimate sound of the guitar. Many of his songs appeared during his lifetime with guitar accompaniment and, if no piano was at hand, he used the instrument now and then for composing. Nevertheless, he unfortunately left no important compositions for the guitar. There is one curious work that was wrongly attributed to Schubert for many years: a Notturno op. 21 for flute, viola, cello and guitar that is known today to be a composition by Wenzel Thomas Matiegka (1773–1830); Schubert solely added a cello part to the original trio! We can only speculate as to why Schubert did not compose for the guitar. His own ability to play the instrument was assumedly rather modest, nothing to compare with his knowledge of the piano or various string instruments. It is possible that he had little contact with the guitar virtuosos of the time, for example, Mauro Giuliani, who became celebrated in the second decade of the nineteenth Century in Vienna. Giuliani maintained a close relationship with Anton Diabelli, who later became Schubert's publisher. It seems somewhat astonishing that even Schubert's later contact with Diabelli, who composed many works for the guitar himself, did not result in a work of Schubert's for the guitar. Possibly another obstacle would have been (and still exists today) that most composers consider the guitar a particularly difficult instrument to compose for, unless one knows it intimately.
Thus only the possibility of an arrangement remains for us. Many of Schubert's textures seem to suit the guitar quite naturally, but other more pianistic settings do of course present obstacles and challenges for a transcription. The reward however is a sound that wonderfully corresponds to Schubert's poetic world and allows us to listen to his music with new ears.
This transcription is based on the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe (Bärenreiter Verlag Kassel).
Phrasings and legatos appear as in the original and are not to be confused with guitaristic technical slurs. Such technical slurs should be, in the opinion of the editor, part of individual interpretation decisions by the performers. In the few cases where they appear, they are identified as editorial suggestions by dotted-lined slurs.
The recording of the present arrangement is available on the CD Daniel Göritz & Daniel Wolff, New Transcriptions for 2 Guitars – Vol. I (Kreuzberg Records 2007, www.kreuzberg-records.de).
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