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The current project is a study of five violin sonatas by the German Baroque composer Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755), arranged for guitar. The first part of the document is comprised of an overview of Pisendel's life and career as a virtuoso violinist, primarily focusing on his time of employment with the Dresden Hofkapelle during the Saxon-Polish Union. This section also examines the history and issues surrounding the Royal Court of Dresden's Schrank II (Cabinet II) music collection, which holds all of Pisendel's manuscripts. Although many of his works were previously lost or attributed wrongly to other composers, new research from the 2008 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) funded project: The Instrumental Music of the Dresden Hofkapelle at the Time of the Saxon-Polish Union aids in providing a comprehensive list and description of each of Pisendel's violin sonatas, either ascertained or conjectural. The second part contains arrangements of five selected violin sonatas for solo guitar. Together with the rationale pertaining to interpretive choices that were made in adapting each sonata for solo guitar, each work includes explanatory notes regarding its history and provenance. The analysis and arrangement of each sonata was conducted from facsimiles of the Schrank II manuscripts, which are currently available to the public through the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) online database.
Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance edition of this sonata, however, has yet to be published. Therefore, the core of my project is a transcription and pedagogical edition of this work for guitar. The transcription is supported by an analysis, performance and pedagogical practice guide, and a recording. The analysis and graphing of phrase structures illuminate Bach's use of compositional devices and the architectural function of the work's harmonic gravities. They are intended to guide performers in their assessment of the surface ornamentation and suggest a reduction toward its fundamental purpose. The end result is a clarification of the piece through the organization of phrase structures and the prioritization of harmonic tensions and resolutions. The compiling process is intended to assist the performer in "seeing the forest from the trees." Based on markings from Bach's original autograph score, the transcription considers fingering ease on the guitar that is critical to render the music to a functional and practical level. The goal is to preserve the composer's indications to the highest degree possible while still adhering to the technical confines that allow for actual execution on the guitar. The performance guide provides suggestions for articulation, phrasing, ornamentation, and other interpretive decisions. Considering the limitations of the guitar, the author's suggestions are grounded in various concepts of historically informed performance, and also relate to today's early-music sensibilities. The pedagogical practice guide demonstrates procedures to break down and assimilate the musical material as applied toward the various elements of guitar technique and practice. The CD recording is intended to demonstrate the transcription and the connection to the concepts discussed. It is hoped that this pedagogical edition will provide a rational that serves to support technical decisions within the transcription and generate meaningful interpretive realizations based on principles of historically informed performance.
Transcriptions and arrangements of works originally written for other instruments have greatly expanded the guitar’s repertoire. This project focuses on a new arrangement of the Suite in A Minor by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729), which originally was composed for harpsichord. The author chose this work because the repertoire for the guitar is critically lacking in examples of French Baroque harpsichord music and also of works by female composers. The suite includes an unmeasured harpsichord prelude––a genre that, to the author’s knowledge, has not been arranged for the modern six-string guitar. This project also contains a brief account of Jacquet de la Guerre’s life, discusses the genre of unmeasured harpsichord preludes, and provides an overview of compositional aspects of the suite. Furthermore, it includes the arrangement methodology, which shows the process of creating an idiomatic arrangement from harpsichord to solo guitar while trying to preserve the integrity of the original work. A summary of the changes in the current arrangement is presented in Appendix B.