Henri Sauguet's unpublished guitar music

Jones, Allan (2014). Henri Sauguet's unpublished guitar music. In: Launch of the International Guitar Research Centre, 29-30 Mar 2014, University of Surrey.

URL: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/schoolofarts/files/Symposi...

Abstract

This paper is a report of work-in-progress on the exploration of the unpublished music for guitar composed by Henri Sauguet (1901-1989)

Sauguet’s catalogue of works includes four symphonies, three concertos, many chamber works and songs, and the stage pieces that made his name in France, comprising 8 operas and around 25 ballets. Unlike his contemporary and friend Francis Poulenc, Sauguet has never achieved wide popularity, although the two composers admired each other’s works greatly.

Sauguet’s catalogue also includes a small but significant body of high quality music for the guitar, either solo or in ensemble with other instruments, beginning with the Soliloque of 1958. This body of ‘official’ guitar music totals around 40 minutes. However, there is a significant quantity of unpublished music for the guitar, both solo and in ensemble, much of it pre-dating the official body, and probably exceeding it in quantity. Some of this music is lost, but some survives in archive collections in Paris. The earliest surviving music dates from 1942. In nearly all cases this music was composed to accompany dramatic presentations, on stage or in radio, television and film.

In this paper I discuss the scope of this music. I also report on an examination of several manuscripts of this unpublished music and offer some thoughts on what they suggest about Sauguet as a composer for the guitar.

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