Søffren Degen works in Tecla

Søffren Degen (1816-1885) was a Danish guitarist and composer.

I am happy to announce that the following works by Søffren Degen are now available in Tecla, all edited by Jens Bang-Rasmussen.

Six original works for violoncello and guitar:

Pastorale Melanconico, op. 11

Un Ricordanza, op. 12

En Sommeraften, op. 15 (A summer evening)

Melodisk Walz, op. 16 (Melodic waltz)

Nocturno, op. 17

Blandt Bjergene, op. 19 (Among the mountains)

 

and four arrangements for violoncello and guitar:

 

Schubert: Ständchen

Haydn: Andante (transcription of the second movement of Haydn’s string quartet op. 33 no 6).

Mozart: Larghetto (transcription of the second movement of Mozart’s clarinet quintet no. 1, K 581).

Gounod/J. S. Bach: Meditation (Ave Maria)

 

In each case a FIRST PART FREE is available so that it is possible to get an idea of a work before acquiring it.

If you would like to purchase all ten works by Degen for violoncello and guitar, please send an email addressed to me personally Brian Jeffery on the Tecla Editions contact form.

Here is Degen’s biography written by Jens Bang-Rasmussen.

Here following are some notes on the pieces, by Jens Bang-Rasmussen.

 

Pastorale Melanconico op. 11, for violoncello and guitar

Melody is the foundation of Degen’s music. The cello sings beautifully all the way though the piece. Degen truly treats the cello as an elegy.

The guitar part resembles the guitar parts known of N. Paganini.

The piece is in Danish national romantic style. Degen’s use of contrast between major and minor is a mean of expression throughout most of his own compositions. The melodic material is inspired from Danish folk songs. The harmonisation in Degen’s arrangement has a touch of late romantic music, especially in the way he uses the subdominant minor towards the end of the piece. There seem to be small inconsequences in Degen’s writing especially in the guitar part. After spending many hours with Degen’s music, this appears to be a very sophisticated way of orchestrating cello and guitar.

 

Un Ricordanza op. 12, for violoncello and guitar

Melody is the foundation of Degen’s music. The cello sings beautifully all the way though the piece. Degen truly treats the cello as an elegy.

The guitar part resembles the guitar parts known of N. Paganini.

The piece is in Danish national romantic style. Degen’s use of contrast between major and minor is a mean of expression throughout most of his own compositions. The melodic material is inspired from Danish folk songs. The use of harmony in Degen’s arrangement has a touch of late romantic music in the way he uses chromatic mediant modulations from e-major to c-natural in the end of the piece. Bars 37-38 in Degen’s original score have some very harsh dissonances in the cello part. A few of these are removed from this edition. These can of course be re-entered by the individual performer. I decided to correct some of the very harsh dissonances because Degen rarely uses harsh dissonances throughout his work. One can argue that these dissonances makes sense in a late romantic context, and the guitar has a tradition for using harsh dissonance dating back to baroque guitar.

There seems to be small inconsequences in Degen’s writing especially in the guitar part. After spending many hours with Degen’s music, this appears to be a very sophisticated way of orchestrating cello and guitar.

 

En Sommeraften op. 15 (A summer evening), for violoncello and guitar

Melody is the foundation of Degen’s music. The cello sings beautifully all the way though the piece. Degen truly treats the cello as an elegy.

The guitar part resembles the guitar parts known of N. Paganini.

The piece is in Danish national romantic style. Degen’s use of contrast between major and minor is a mean of expression throughout most of his own compositions. The melodic material is inspired from Danish folk songs. The harmonisation in Degen’s arrangement has a touch of late romantic music in the way he uses chromatic mediant modulations from e-major to c-natural in the end of the piece. I decided to correct some of the very harsh dissonances because Degen rarely use harsh dissonances throughout his work. Every correction made to this score is in the corrections sheet below. One can argue that these dissonances makes sense in a late romantic context, and the guitar has a tradition for using harsh dissonance dating back to baroque guitar. There seems to be small inconsequences in Degen’s writing especially in the guitar part. After spending many hours with Degen’s music, this appears to be a very sophisticated way of orchestrating cello and guitar.

 

Melodic waltz, op. 16, for violoncello and guitar

A relatively small piece for cello and guitar, very romantic and written with a true sense of the sonority of the cello and the wonderful melodies it can produce.As in all Degen’s compositions, the guitar part is for the seven-string guitar.

 

Nocturno op. 17, for violoncello and guitar

Melody is the foundation of Degen’s music. The cello sings beautifully all the way though the piece. Degen truly treats the cello as an elegy. Elements of Scandinavian folk music especially fiddle music are to be found in this piece (bars 57-68).

The guitar part resembles the guitar parts of N. Paganini.

The piece is in Danish national romantic style. Degen’s use of contrast between major and minor is a mean of expression throughout most of his own compositions. The melodic material is inspired from Danish folk songs. There seems to be small inconsequences in Degen’s writing especially in the guitar part. After spending many hours with Degen’s music, this appears to be a very sophisticated way of orchestrating cello and guitar.

 

Blandt bjergene, op. 19 (“among the mountains”), for violoncello and guitar

This is an outstanding composition for cello and guitar. Truly romantic program music, very inspired by the program music of Coste, and always with a touch of his teacher J. P. E. Hartmann. As in all Degen’s compositions, the guitar part is for the seven-string guitar.

 

Ständchen (Schubert), for violoncello and guitar

A popular piece for guitar and violoncello. Degen transcribes music very freely, as did most of the romantic composers. He transcribes the original music into a style of his own. As in all Degen’s transcriptions, the guitar part is for the seven-string guitar.

 

Andante (Haydn), for violoncello and guitar

An unbelievably fine and sophisticated transcription of the second movement of Haydn’s string quartet op. 33 no 6. Degen transcribes music very freely, as did most of the romantic composers. He transcribes the original music into a style of his own. As in all Degen’s transcriptions, the guitar part is for the seven-string guitar.

 

Larghetto (Mozart), for violoncello and guitar

An unbelievably fine and sophisticated transcription of the second movement of Mozart’s clarinet quintet no. 1, K 581. Degen transcribes music very freely, as did most of the romantic composers. He transcribes the original music into a style of his own. As in all Degen’s transcriptions, the guitar part is for the seven-string guitar.

 

Meditation (Gounod/Bach), for violoncello and guitar

This is a very fine transcription of the Ave Maria. Degen’s fingering for the guitar is very interesting and unorthodox and tells us how developed his guitar playing must have been. Even though this is written for the seven-string guitar, it is not a problem to play the transcription on the six-string guitar.