For guitar (Russian seven-string guitar tuned in G)
Introduced by Oleg Timofeyev (A bilingual text in English and
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32 pp., $19.95, Presser Order number 494-02730 (PWYS-69)
Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev’s Second Sonata, which is presented in this edition, was completed in the Gulag in 1949 and probably intended as a sort of a “musical supplement” to petitions for clemency. The musical matter of this sonata are several tunes well known during the WWII era in the Soviet Union, including the famous Shiroka strana moia rodnaia: (Wide is my Native Country, music by I. Dunaevsky, lyrics by V. Lebedev—Kumach) which served as the call sign of Radio Moscow. Some of the movements are borrowed from earlier guitar pieces by Pavlov-Azancheev. The Great Patriotic War Sonata by Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev was written for the Russian seven-string tuned in a G Major open tuning, i.e.,
D’, G’, B, d, g, b. d’.
The writing is idiomatic for a guitar in that tuning and, it goes without saying, the work would sound best, and would be easiest to play, on the instrument for which it was originally composed.
Matvei Stepanovich Pavlov (creative pseudonym: Azancheev) was born in Batumi, Georgia on March 10, 1888 and died in Armavir, South Russia, in complete obscurity on January 8, 1963. Still in Batumi and still a school boy, he learned to play the guitar on his own and offered private lessons at a very early age. At the age of sixteen, he entered the Moscow Conservatoire and studied cello with the famous Alfred von Glehn. During his conservatoire years (1904-7), Matvei Pavlov was also learning composition from the conservatoire’s director, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. In 1916 Pavlov was drafted by the National Guard to fight in World War I, but soon, presumably due to the efforts of Ippolitov-Ivanov, was placed in a military orchestra. In February 1930 the composer accepted an offer to form a symphony orchestra in Vladikavkaz, in the South of Russia (North Ossetia). Also, Pavlov-Azancheev served as the orchestra’s sole librarian, copying and arranging anew tens or even hundreds of well-known and obscure compositions, including orchestrating some of his guitar pieces. After 1933, the composer divided his time between Moscow and Sochi (in the Krasnodar Region in Southern Russia). It is there that he was falsely accused for engaging in Anti-Soviet Propaganda and arrested in 1941. He served ten years in a concentration camp. The majority of Pavlov-Azancheev’s guitar pieces, most of which had survived in private collections, are picturesque miniatures built with minimal melodic and harmonic investment and always showing his unfailing feeling for musical form.
Cover art work by Zaryana Bezuhlyy (Bogatyrova).
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