John W. Duarte

Sonatina del Sur Op. 98 for Guitar

  • Editor: Isabel Siewers
  • Publisher: Ut Orpheus
  • Code: CH 385
  •   In Stock
  • € 12.00

The Sonatina del Sur (Sonatina of the South) was commissioned by Isabel Siewers’ mother as a 34th birthday present for her daughter. Its music pays token, rather than imitative, homage to South American music. Thus the sonata form first movement, whose brief development section accounts for the work’s ‘diminutive’ title, merely hints at syncopations that are as common in South America as they are in Europe. The Canción de cuna (Cradle Song) is unusual in the fact that it is played entirely in natural harmonics – no string touches a fret from start to finish, a compositional challenge I had long planned to face. The third movement was originally titled Milonga, but when the dedicatee said that, although it has a South American air over it, and the rhythm is right, it was not really like a milonga, it was renamed! Perhaps, though, it captures a little of the happy and lightness-of-touch character of its eponym. The Danza negra, another common South American genre, is energetic, with a variety of percussive gestures that demand extreme agility on the part of the performer.

Author: John W. Duarte (1919-2004)

Editor: Isabel Siewers

Publication Date: 12/4/2023

Pages: pp. 16

Size: 230x310 mm

Binding: Saddle stitching

ISMN: 979-0-2153-2817-4

Code: CH 385

John Duarte was born on 2 October 1919 in Sheffield, England and died in London on 23 December 2004. He was 100% British despite his name having Portuguese overtones. His father was Scottish and his mother, who was born in Philadelphia, USA, was English!
He was educated at Manchester Central High School (1931-35) and Manchester University Faculty of Technology (1936-40). He worked as a professional chemist until 1969, then abandoned chemistry in favour of full-time music. His only formal musical education was lessons with Terence Usher (1934-36) in jazz-guitar playing; the rest was by self-instruction. His many friendships with great artists included one of 39 years with Andrés Segovia and an enforcedly shorter one with Ida Presti, who died at the age of 42.
He was the composer of nearly 150 works for the guitar and lute (many commissioned with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain and other sources, official and private, both domestic and overseas). Many have been published and nearly half have been commercially recorded. He was also the author of very many arrangements (several also recorded) and didactic works.
As the writer of countless articles he was a regular contributor to Soundboard, interviewer and reviewer of books, music, concerts and recordings of many kinds in Gramophone, Music Teacher and Classical Guitar, and author of numerous concert-programme notes and about 250 liner notes for records and CDs of various kinds, including those for the complete reissue of Julian Bream’s recordings for RCA (28 compact discs). He received a GRAMMY Award for his annotation to the reissue of Segovia’s recordings of 1927-39. His Appalachian Dreams op. 121 formed the centrepiece of the 2001 GRAMMY Award-winning album Dreams of a World by Sharon Isbin, and the Joan Baez Suite> op. 144 was also the centrepiece of her 2010 GRAMMY Award-winning album, Journey to the New World. In 2022, Idylle pour Ida op. 93 featured on Berta Rojas' Latin GRAMMY Award-winning album, Legado. He contributed regularly to Music in Education, Guitar Review, Guitar International, Music & Musicians, Records and Recording, and Performance and was a contributor to the revised edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
As a teacher he prepared many students for successful careers, and he was Director of the Cannington International Guitar Summer School and Festival (1974-93), Course Director of the Bath International Guitar Festival (1994-95) and the Oatridge International Guitar Summer School and Festival (near Edinburgh, Scotland). He worked as a teacher, lecturer and adjudicator in 29 countries outside the United Kingdom.
At the Convention of the Guitar Foundation of America in October 1999 he received an Award for Lifetime Achievement.
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