Seven Concert Etudes, Opus 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18

Judith Cody

About this work:
Program notes:
The Concert Etudes are intended for the advanced guitarist who wishes to study and perform certain 20th century music techniques and concepts expressly composed for the guitar. They are meant to be concert worthy as well. Composed to be played as an ensemble, the Etudes evolve structurally and musically to explore uncommon textures and sonorities of the classic instrument while moving toward a contemporary aesthetic.

Opus 7 is marked Allegro expressif and has no time signature. Two independent voices, bass and treble, are interwoven. It is written on two treble staves to illustrate the compositional plasticity of the staff and to define the melodic concept. Traditionally, guitar music is written exclusively on one staff, the treble staff.

Opus 10 employs a pianissimo pointillist scheme against sudden fortissimo effects.

Opus 11, marked Moderato, recalls some traditional guitar harmonies against a delicate, metrical treble line. It is the somewhat melodic etude of the group.

Opus 13 is marked brilliante. The guitarist is called upon to create a glittering accelerated textural effect entirely with 1/32 notes.

Opus 14, marked Andante, wit and humor, is a chordal motif in 4/4 time. Four systems of four measures each, wherein each system a chord is mathematically “built”: one pitch in the first measure, tow in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth measure (except the first system which is 1:1, 1:2, 1:2, 1:2 in the manner of split time).

Opus 15 explores color on the bass string. Ponticello notes (struck near the bridge) contrasts with long vibrato notes. It is also a study in free-form composition by the performer. Measures can be interchanged at the guitarist’s discretion thereby creating a “new” composition. Meditative in character, it is marked Larghetto.

Opus 18 brings together a summation of the whole group. Glissandos on the bass strings (the wire wrapped strings) are distinctly characterized by ragged textures which introduce a dramatic element to the composition. The aggressive, dark tonalities of the inner movement (the glissando section) is played between two short lyrical sections.
Version: classical guitar
Year composed: 1978
Duration: 00:12:00
Ensemble type: Solo instrument, non-keyboard:Guitar (Classical/Acoustic)
Instrumentation: 1 Guitar (Classical/Acoustic)

Judith Cody's profile »