Frank Martin

Werke mit Gitarre


1. Poèmes de la mort für Tenor, Bariton, Bass, 2 E-Gitarren und E-Bassgitarre; 2. Guitare (Quatre pièces brèves); 3. Dre Minnelieder, Fassung für Sopran, Flöte und Gitarre; 4. Etudes für Streichorchester, bearbeitet für 2 Gitarren von H. Stampa; 5. Quant n'ont assez fait dodo für Tenor, Gitarre und Klavier 4-händig


The idea behind his four-movement, suite-like cycle for guitar that later was given the title 'Four short pieces' came from the Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia (1893-1987). Martin had returned to his hometown of Geneva in 1924 after two years spent in Paris, and it was in Geneva that Segovia also settled in the early 1930s. He was already one of the best-known musicians of his day, whereas Martin had not yet experienced his breakthrough as a composer. Little is known of the relationship between Segovia and Martin. It is no clearer whether Segovia commissioned this work, nor whether Martin wrote it of his own accord, nor why Segovia did not react when Martin sent it to him, nor why he never took it into his repertoire. Nevertheless, Martin later pondered whether the pieces were in fact unplayable and had for that reason been left untouched by Segovia. This suspicion on the part of the composer was naturally laid to rest by other guitarists, and Segovia - a master of his instrument - could also have overcome the technical hurdles if he had wanted to. We must thus assume that he did not want to, for in comparison to many other pieces that were written for Segovia and that he played regularly, these four pieces by Martin are well-nigh avant-garde in style and thus did not belong to the genre of folkloristic music that was typical of Segovia's repertoire. These four guitar pieces remained Martin's only solo work for the instrument. Julian Bream endeavoured to convince Martin to write more such works when the composer was in his old age, but nothing came of it except good intentions. However, Martin did return to the instrument in several unusual chamber music works that are also recorded here.


Frank Martin


Tino Brütsch, Tenor, Samuel Zünd, Bariton, René Koch, Bass. Harald Stampa, Gitarre, Benjamin Scheck, Gitarre, Richard Pechota, E-Bass, Barbara Vigfusson, Sopran, Miriam Terragni, Querflöte, Antje Maria Traub, Klavier, Gregor Loepfe, Klavier.

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MGB 6264

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