Songs for Voice and Guitar, edited by Brian Jeffery. The complete introduction. (1985)

Songs for Voice and Guitar, edited by Brian Jeffery, the introduction

Art songs with guitar were composed, arranged, and performed in their thousands in centuries before our own. The guitar, which is such a perfect accompaniment to the voice, was heard everywhere in that role. From the 19th century we have many songs originally composed with guitar accompaniment, many popular and semi-popular songs, and arrangements for voice and guitar of songs originally composed with orchestral or piano accompaniment, these latter including for example many of the Lieder of Beethoven and Schubert. From the 17th and 18th centuries, too, many guitar songs survive, their accompaniments written in tablature, a repertory which is waiting for singers and guitarists with a sense of adventure and taste for exploration to get to know, and to enjoy. In our own day, the tradition of the art song with guitar accompaniment has become temporarily dim, following the greater emphasis recently placed on the instrument in its solo capacity; perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the most prominent performers of our time did not care to be accompanists and so emphasized solo playing. But if we look back to earlier generations we find the guitar not only taking a solo part but also participating fully in chamber music, and, very frequently, accompanying the voice.

This anthology presents a selection of songs from the 19th century, all of them with authentic guitar accompaniments from the period. Many hundreds of songs have been examined in the course of its preparation. As with any worthwhile anthology, the difficulty was to choose among the wealth of fine material. It would be quite impossible to cover every country, every good composer, every genre. But here at least are some from Italy, France, Spain, England, Scotland, Germany, Russia, and the New World. The aim has been to make a representative selection of good songs which can be used by those who take pleasure in them; on the concert stage; and also in conservatories and as a standard text for students and teachers. In particular, in conservatories and schools of music, teachers and students of singing will often find that members of the guitar department will be more than willing to accompany them. Singers in general might well consider taking advantage of the growing willingness of today’s guitarists to be accompanists, and to explore this repertory. And many of the songs are not difficult for the amateur: there is something for all levels of attainment.

The songs fall into many categories, and only when they are better known, and when more of them have been published in our own day, will it be possible to make a proper study of the guitar as an accompanying instrument in the 19th century. But some general characteristics do emerge. Firstly, it is clear that in all European countries, all songs were grist to the guitarist’s mill. Art songs of all kinds; original compositions for voice with guitar accompaniment; popular and semi-popular songs; arrangements from versions for voice with orchestra or with piano; all of these existed over a wide geographical area, in all social milieux, and throughout the century. The numbers and the relative popularity in the various categories remain to be studied. One rather curious fact seems to be that the rarity of the original editions today has little to do with the publishing history of the last century, but rather with the values of our own: songs with guitar were so little prized in the first half of the 20th century that many of the 19th century editions of them, certainly printed in large numbers, are today, paradoxically, among the rarest of antiquarian music.

In the 19th century, some editions of songs gave alternative piano and guitar accompaniments. This was the case, for example, with the songs in this edition by Ferrari, by Brambilla, and by Giuliani. In this edition, such piano accompaniments are not included. But more and more as the century wore on, it became the practice for publishers to issue two separate versions of a song, one with piano accompaniment and one with guitar, and the purchaser would buy whichever one he wanted. The piano was the accompanying instrument with the greater prestige, so that in libraries today it is principally the piano versions which survive.

A word or two about some of the songs in this collection. Nearly all of them are published here for the first time in a modern edition in their guitar versions. They have been chosen from among a great many which were very popular in their own time, and many of them will be fresh and novel to today’s performers. Thus, nine songs in Spanish are included, among them five from Mexico, Peru, and Brazil, which as far as I know have not been published before in a modern edition in these versions.

Five French romances are included from the period c. 1810-1830. Hundreds of such songs were published in this period, with guitar accompaniments as well as separately with piano accompaniments; many are from various stage works while others are individual songs in their own right. To judge from the large quantity published, these French songs must have been extraordinarily popular. They often have a simplicity, a direct charm, which well deserves performance. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that, if in English, some of them could easily have come out of one of the simpler Elizabethan or Jacobean songbooks – say, by Thomas Ford.

There are seven German songs. The guitar was accepted as a valid accompanying instrument for the Lieder of Beethoven, Schubert, and their contemporaries, in their own time. The versions with guitar accompaniments, and those with piano, were published more or less simultaneously in the early 19th century; indeed, in the case of some Schubert songs, the Viennese publishers brought out versions with guitar before versions with piano. Even large-scale songs like Beethoven’s “Adelaide” exist in early 19th century editions with guitar accompaniment. Four such Lieder are included here, by Beethoven, Hummel, and Keller; one by Giuliani; and two which have deliberately been included to give a different perspective, namely the two songs by Schubert, set to the guitar many years later, in a different country, by Napoleon Coste.

The two English ballads come from English Romantic Songs and Ballads of the early 19th century with guitar accompaniments of the period, a collection of seventeen such English songs which I published in 1983. The singer will find in these songs, with their authentic guitar accompaniments from the period, a mine of elegant and delightful material.

The simplicity of these two English ballad accompaniments leads on to an important question of performance. It is almost certain that the singer was often expected to accompany him- or herself. Some evidence for this has been gathered although the picture is not yet entirely clear, but self-accompaniment does seem to be very likely especially in cases where the accompaniment is simple, as in Sor’s seguidillas or the English ballads.

There is no shortage of material. If this book is successful, we shall be delighted to publish a second volume.

My thanks are due above all to Robert Spencer for allowing the publication of music from his collection. Also to Mary Beverley and Nigel North who sang and played through this anthology; Erik Stenstadvold who read it carefully; Miguel Alcázar, Valerie James, Margarita Mazo, and Roland H. B. Stearns. Any faults which remain are of course my own responsibility.

All metronome markings, tempo indications, ornaments, and fingering, are those of the original editions and are authentic. The precise interpretation of the ornaments is still often a matter of conjecture. The type of notation used both in the vocal lines and in the guitar parts varies in the original sources from the beginning of the century to the end, and occasionally it has been adapted here to modern practice. A few dynamic markings are taken from piano parts not included here. The literary texts have been modernised. Obvious errors have been corrected without note.

It will be found that when a phrase recurs in some of these songs, the notes are not always identical with the first time. This is normal in this music, and players should feel free to perform whichever version they wish. It would have been an anachronism to have forced these repetitions into one single version for the purposes of this edition.

Photocopying the occasional page only for the purpose of avoiding page turns is permissible. So is photocopying page 92 for the purpose of performance with flute or violin. But you are requested not to photocopy any part of this book for any other reason, and teachers have a special responsibility in this regard. Photocopying (other than as specified above) is in any case illegal and can easily lead to prosecution. Copies of this book are available at a reasonable price from any music shop world-wide, or direct from the publisher.

London, 1985


1. G.G. Ferrari: A Carolina.

Giacomo Gotifredo Ferrari (1759-1842) was born in Italy, travelled in Europe. And spent much of his life in London and in Edinburgh. A successful and prolific performer and composer, his works include much Italian vocal music, as well as some instrumental pieces. He published in London a method for the Italian style of singing. His Sei Canzonette Italiane, of which “A Carolina” is no. 1, went through several editions, and editions with alternative piano and guitar accompaniments were published in Vienna and Leipzig, both in 1802. The guitar accompaniments have no attribution. It is unlikely that Ferrari himself wrote them; but we may hazard a guess that perhaps they were made by Bartolomeo Bortolazzi, a guitarist who was very popular in Vienna at that time, and whose compositions were published by the same Viennese publisher.

The entire set of the Sei Canzonette Italiane, to which I added a preface, was published by Tecla Editions in 1984.

2. G. G. Ferrari: L’Innamorato.

This is no. 2 in Sei Ariette coll’accompagnamento di Pianoforte da G. C. Ferrari ridotte per la chitarra da E. Seidler Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel, no. 647 [c. 1809]. Nothing is known of E. Seidler: he may have been related to the more famous C. G. Scheidler, whose name was on occasion spelt Seidler. The original edition includes alternative piano accompaniment. It also gives the instruction in the guitar part: “Stimme das tiefe E in F”, “Tune the low E to F”. The flexible attitude to tunings in the early 19th century, helped by the fact that retuning was generally easier with gut strings than it is today with nylon, meant that this presented little difficulty, and the guitarist today would do well to take such retunings in his stride. However, players who prefer not to do so will find that the accompaniment is playable with the sixth string in E as usual.

The original edition gives an alternative text in German, and this has been retained here. The fingering is that of the original.

At the third bar after the double bar, the A in the guitar part is editorial; the original has G, which appears to be an error. The original fingering in this section is confused and has mostly been omitted here.

3. Federico Moretti: La Insinuación.

Federico Moretti (c. 1765-1838) was a Neapolitan by birth but spent the latter part of his life in Spain. There were at that time close political links between Spain and Naples. He was a soldier by profession, and also played an important part in the world of guitar music. Sor called him “the light to guide the footsteps of guitarists”. Various editions of a guitar method by Moretti are known. It seems, however, that his most prolific contribution to the guitar may have been a great many songs in Spanish, composed in Spain round about 1800-1810 and circulated mostly in manuscript. Twelve of them, arranged in the form of a song-cycle – at present the earliest known song-cycle for voice with guitar – were published in London during the Peninsular War as Doce Canciones, and I published the complete cycle, with an introduction, with Tecla Editions in 1978.

“La Insinuación” is no. 5 in Moretti’s Doce Canciones. It has a wonderfully compelling melody and the section at “Tu gracia amable” uses the campanelas effect to perfection, the Es and Bs all being played open and the other notes all stopped on lower strings.

Whereas with many 19th century songs the piano version came first and someone other than the composer later arranged the accompaniment for the guitar, with Moretti it was the reverse. Moretti composed the guitar accompaniment, and the original edition also provides an alternative piano accompaniment arranged by another composer, one Manuel Rücker.

4. Fernando Sor: Muchacha, y la vergüenza.

Fernando Sor (1778-1839), the great composer for the guitar, wrote many songs, but most of them are for voice with piano accompaniment, not guitar. In London between 1815 and 1823, for example, he composed and published dozens of eloquent songs in Italian with piano. However, a few years ago I found some songs which he did compose for voice with guitar; he wrote them in Spain before he left that country, probably in about 1800-1810, and they are in a style which we would not readily associate with his published and well-known music for solo guitar. They are authentically Spanish in idiom, in a style which singers today have had little opportunity to explore because so little of it has been published. They are available in the complete edition of Sor’s Seguidillas (Tecla Editions, 1976, reprinted 1983), from which “Muchacha, y la verguenza” is taken, and which may be consulted for details of the early 19th century sources and for a commentary on the seguidillas boleras form.

“Muchacha, y la vergüenza” is a comic dialogue between a girl and her mother. “Where is your shame?” asks the mother. It appears that the cockroaches have eaten it ….

“Andante” is the original tempo marking: it is probably not as slow as it might be interpreted today. Federico Moretti, in his Principios para tocar la guitarra de seis órdenes (Madrid, 1799), translates andante into Spanish as “gracioso”.

5. Alexandre Etienne Choron: La Sentinelle.

“La Sentinelle”, with its military sentiments, was a very popular song in the early 19th century, to the extent that it seems to have come to be regarded as traditional material. Giuliani, for example, does not give a name of composer in his version, and in the 20th century some people have attributed it to different composers. But in fact it seems probable that the song was composed by Choron in the very early years of the 19th century (see Matanya Ophee: “Who wrote ‘La Sentinelle?”, Soundboard, May 1981). We are doubtless in the presence here of a common 19th century phenomenon, of a blurred line between genuinely popular melodies, and melodies which were composed in the same style and were subsequently thought to be popular: well-known examples of the latter are “Cherry ripe” and “Home sweet home”, and “Krasnoe seraphan” in this anthology, no. 30.

Giuliani’s guitar accompaniment, with its drum-like continuous beat, strongly emphasizes the rhythm of the song and its military nature.

Source: Le Troubadour du Nord, Oeuvre Périodique Musical … Cahier I. Vienna: Artaria, plate number 2049 [1810]. Copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer. With alternative piano accompaniment.

6. Mauro Giuliani: Confuso, smarrito.

This song is an original composition by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and comes from his Sei Cavatine, op. 39, first published by Artaria in Vienna (copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer). The complete set of six songs, re-engraved and edited by Ruggero Chiesa, has been published by Suvini Zerboni, Milan (1982); also the complete set, together with all Giuliani’s other songs, will be included in facsimile in this composer’s Complete Works, now in course of publication by Tecla Editions.

The original edition includes alternative accompaniments for guitar or piano.

The low D of the final chord is printed thus in the original edition. This means that (unless the guitarist has a guitar with more than six strings) either this one note should be put up an octave, or the sixth string should be tuned to D.

7. Mauro Giuliani: Abschied.

Another original composition by Giuliani, published in his Sechs Lieder, op. 89, in Vienna in 1817. The complete set of six Lieder, with a preface by Thomas F. Heck, was published by Tecla Editions in 1976. The original edition contains alternative guitar or piano accompaniments.

8. Luigi Brambilla: Son troppo innocente.

This song is taken from V Ariette Italiane e Duettino con accompagnemento [sic]: di Piano Forte o Chitarra composte e dedicate all’Onorabile Mr Mr Jones da Luigi Brambilla. Op. 5. Vienna: L. Maisch, plate number 441 [1811]. Copy: Musikarchiv, Stift Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria. The guitar accompaniment may be by the composer, Luigi Brambilla, about whom, however, little is known. The original edition contains alternative accompaniments for piano or guitar, and the entire collection of the V Ariette e Duettino was published, with a preface by me, by Tecla Editions in 1984. Some of the dynamics are taken from the piano pan of the original edition.

On page 18, line 4, bar 4, in the original edition the last six notes are all demisemiquavers.

9. Que ne suis-je la fougère.

G.-P.-A. Gatayes (1774-1846), the natural son of the Prince de Conti and the Marquise de Silly, was a prolific composer especially of chamber music with guitar. An article on him by Denise Mégevand, with a selective list of works, is in the encyclopaedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. “Que ne suis-je la fougère” is a well-known French folk song, especially familiar to guitarists through Fernando Sor’s set of variations on it, op 26.

Source: Que ne suis-je la fougère. Avec 4 accompt. de Guitare d’une difficulté graduele [sic] pour servir d’étude. Par Gatayes. Paris: Corbaux [c. 1812]. Copy: London, my own collection.

10. Edouard Bruguière: Ne parlons jamais d’amour.

A typical pastoral romance, with musettes, chansonnettes, la prairie: it is a bergère, a shepherdess, who sings, Edouard Bruguière was a minor composer of early 19th century France; François Molino was an interesting and as yet insufficiently known guitar composer.

Page 24, line 5, bars 2-3, guitar part: the slurs are only in bar 2 in the original, not in bar 3.

Source: Ne parlons jamais d’amour, Romance de M. Bachelier, Mise en Musique par Edouard Bruguière. Accompagnement de Guitare par Molino. Paris: Petibon [e. 1825]. Copy: London, my own collection. With a picture on the cover.

11. Henri Berton: Le clair de lune.

A romance by the celebrated Henri Berton (“Berton fils”) (1767-1844).

Source: Le Clair de Lune. Romance. Paroles de Mr. Carmouche. Dediée à Mlle. Florine Clarance de St. Marie par Berton fils, Professeur de chant a l’Ecole Royale de Musique. Accompagnement de Guitare par A. Meissonnier. Paris: A. Meissonnier [e. 1826]. Copy: London, my own collection.

12. F. Blangini: La Veillée de Venus.

This is a version of a famous Latin poem, perhaps of the second century A.D., the Pervigilium veneris.

Source: La Veillée de Venus, Musique de F. Blangini et Accompt. de B. Pollet. Paris: B. Pollet [c. 1822]. Copy: London, my own collection. The accompaniment is marked “Lyre ou Guitare”.

13. Johann Nepomuk Hummel: An die Entfernte.

An arrangement of Hummel’s op. 84, no. 1. Source: An die Entfernte, Romanze, mit Musik von J.N. Hummel. Gesungen in den Concerten von Madame Milder. Hamburg bei C. Cranz. [c. 1830] Guitar accompaniment only, not guitar/piano. Copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer.

14. Ludwig van Beethoven: Mignons Gesang.

One of Beethoven’s most famous Lieder. This guitar arrangement is anonymous, and was published in Berlin in about 1825. Copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer.

15. Franz Schubert: Ave Maria.

Coste’s arrangement, first published in Paris probably in the 1830s, uses a French text by Bélanger which is not a translation of the German original but a different poem. Since Coste did not alter the vocal line, it has been relatively easy to restore the original German text for this edition. Published in the Tecla book Schubert Lieder with their piano accompaniments arranged for guitar by Coste. Performers who wish to sing the French text can obtain it from Tecla as a pdf.

16. Franz Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade.

In this case Coste uses a French text by Bélanger which is a loose translation of the German. Published in the Tecla book Schubert Lieder with their piano accompaniments arranged for guitar by Coste. Performers who wish to sing the French text can obtain it from Tecla as a pdf.Performers who wish to sing the French text can obtain it from Tecla as a pdf.

17 and 18. Logie of Buchan and Donald.

These both come from A Selection of The Most Favorite Scottish Melodies, Arranged for the Voice, with Symphonies & Accompaniments for the Spanish Guitar, by M. Holst (London, c. 1827), published by Tecla. Copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer. M. Holst was the great-grandfather of Gustav Holst.

19. El Vejuquito.

This song and the next come from Mexico and date from about 1830, As far as I know they have not before been published in a modern edition in these authentic versions, and they are of great interest for the history of popular music in America. They are written down at a time when the American colonies had achieved independence but when ties with Spain were still strong.

This song begins by telling us about itself: it is a song called “El Vejuquito” from Veracruz in Mexico, and it was “una negrita” who brought it from Veracruz. In another source, British Library MS Egerton 3289, ff. 163v-165, it was a sailor who brought it: “lo trajo en los Galones desde alla cierto marino …”. Its enormous rhythmic vitality comes as no surprise to anyone who knows the music of Mexico today and especially that of Veracruz.

Source: Colección General de Canciones Españolas y Americanas, part 3, Madrid, B. Wirmbs [c. 1830], no. 18. Copy: London, collection of Robert Spencer. The original title in the text is “El Vejuquito, Canción Americana” (“americana” has, of course, nothing to do with the United States), and in the contents list it is called “El Vejuquito de Veracruz”, The original is for voice and guitar or piano, and the arranger, so far unidentified, is simply called “F”. The metronome marking is from the original. The song is also found (with piano accompaniment only) in Pacini’s Regalo lírico (Paris, c. 1830) (copy: King’s College, Cambridge, Rowe Music Library).

I am greatly indebted to Miguel Alcázar for his kind information about the words of this song. He pointed out that vejuquito is probably a diminutive of bejuco, which is a kind of plant, a cane or reed. The first stanza speaks of a sweetness which lulls the senses: it is left ambiguous whether it is the sweetness of the song which lulls the senses, or whether it is the sweetness of this mysterious plant, the bejuco or vejuquito: if the latter, then the nature of this Mexican plant is up to the modern listener to guess at….

Chinampa is explained in a footnote in the Madrid edition as jardín (“garden”). However, the meaning of chinampa is more complex and picturesque. In the early nineteenth century much of Mexico City and the surrounding area was water (which has since been drained), and there were still many canals, as there are today at Xochimilco outside Mexico City. In between the canals are fertile plots of land called chinampas, used particularly for growing flowers, and this is probably the meaning intended in this song. Also, however, the word chinampa is used in the different sense of a type of decorative and ornate punt used on the canals.

Chinampas in both senses are (or were) also to be found near Veracruz, which is where this song is supposed to have come from.

Malinche was the name of Cortes’ Indian wife. The word in this song is used in a general sense, as “girl-friend”; the Madrid edition translates it in a footnote as querida, “darling”.

Soapile: probably a proper name, as the Madrid edition says in a footnote: nombre propio.

El toticoniche is perhaps derived from, or related to, the dance tocotín. The Madrid edition explains it in a footnote as baile de nueva España.

This song, in a modern guitar arrangement and with the title La Indita, is no. 1 in Roberto Gerhard’s Cantares (1962). Gerhard does not give any source for the song.

20. El Pan de Jarabe.

No. 24 in the Colección General. The arranger is named only as “F”. At the head of the music the song is called “El Pan de Jarabe, Canción y Baile de Nueya España”; in the contents list, “El Pan de Jarabe (americana)”. The original edition has alternative guitar or piano accompaniments.

The pan de jarabe was one of the most popular Mexican musical forms of the early 19th century; see, for example, Robert Stevenson: Music in Mexico, 1952, pp. 183-5. Jarabe means “syrup”, and pan de jarabe “syrupy bread”: of course all kinds of hidden sexual meanings lie behind, in an age when censorship was strong. Stevenson quotes an Inquisition document of 1802 from Mexico referring to the jarabe which reads (in translation): “Latterly there has been introduced amongst us another type of dance called the jarabe gatuno so indecent, lewd, disgraceful, and provocative, that words cannot encompass the evil of it. The verses and the accompanying actions, movements and gestures, shoot the poison of lust directly into the eyes, ears, and senses”.

The words in the song printed here are innocent enough and have doubtless been cleaned up. But the music, with its rasgueados and its cross-rhythms, radiates vitality.

The note in Spanish at the head of the music, and the metronome marking, are from the original edition.

21. El Landun

No. 16 in the Colección General. The arranger is named as “J.M.”. At the head of the music it is called “El Landum, Canción y Baile Brasileño”; in the contents list, “El Landun del Brasil”.

The landun, today usually spelt lundu, is the name of a popular dance and song form of Brazil, particularly associated with the coloured people of that country. A long and detailed historical article on this “dança viva e desenvolta” may be found in the Grande Enciclopedia Portuguesa e Brasileira, vol. 15, Lisbon & Rio de Janeiro, 1945. See also Bruno Kiefer’s study A Modinha e o Lundu (Porto Alegre, 1977).

22. El Consejo.

No. 20 in the Colección General. The arranger is named as “J.M.”. At the head of the music it is called “El Consejo. Modiña Brasilena”; in the contents list, “El consejo (modiña)”.

23. Los Tristes.

No. 6 in the Colección General. The arranger is named as “D.J.S. de M.” at the head of the music, and as “J.S.M.” in the contents list. The title at the head of the music reads “Los Tristes, Canción Americana”, but in the contents list it is specifically called “Los Tristes del Peru”.

The note “La letra de esta canción … ” is at the head of the music in the original edition. The unusual accents such as dilates, momento, etc., are from the original edition and have been kept unchanged (I have only added the accent on the final -e of encontraré, omitted in the original through a misprint). This unusual accentuation is still occasionally heard in South America, notably in Argentina; possibly in the early 19th century it was more widespread.

The original metronome marking, 60, indicates a very slow tempo.

In bar 8 of the voice part, the original has al momento; altered on the analogy of bar 4. In stanza 3, line 4, I have added the word No to complete the sense and the syllable count.

24. El Requiebro.

No. 4 in the Colección General. The arranger is named only as “J.S.M.”. The title means “endearing expressions, the language of love”. Resalao, hechizao, (instead of resalado, hechizado) are gypsy or Andalusian pronunciation.

On page 63, bottom line, last bar but one, the original has FGFGFG; altered on the analogy of page 65, line 1. However, the possibility should not be excluded that the original reading is in fact correct.

The triplets from page 64, line 3, onwards, are certainly intended to be slurred.

25. Karl Keller: Kennst du der Liebe Sehnen?

Keller (1784-1855) was known in his lifetime as a composer for the flute, as well as for the voice. “Kennst du der Liebe Sehnen” is his most celebrated song.

Source: Arietta alla Polacca, Conosci tu i martiri d’un infelice amor? Kennst du der Liebe Sehnen, Kennst du der Liebe Schmerz? Composed by Chr. [sic] Keller, with Accompaniment of the Piano Forte or Guitar. London: Wessel & Stodart [c. 1828-38]. Copy: London, my own collection. The German words are the original ones, but as an Italian text is also given, we have kept it here. Performers wishing to keep to Keller’s original version should sing the German words. (“Chr. Keller” in the title above is a mistake on the part of the English publisher; the composer’s name was Karl.)

On page 66 and at the last chord of the song, the use of the left hand thumb to stop the sixth string is clearly implied. This was a not uncommon practice at the time. The chord can easily be altered by changing the low A to a C.

26. Karl Keller: Wenn du mich liebst.

From Wenn du mich liebst, Gedicht von J. F. Castelli. In Musik gesetit mit Begleitung des Pianoforte oder der Guitarre von Karl Keller. Braunschweig: J. P. Spehr [c. 1840]. Copy: London, my own collection. This song is no. 2 of Keller’s op. 27.

27. Thomas Moore/Sir Henry Bishop: My heart and lute.

One of the most beautiful and deservedly popular ballads of the 19th century. So popular, indeed, that when Zani de Ferranti composed his Divertissement pour Guitare seule sur trois Romances anglaises, op. 8, one of the three melodies which he chose to incorporate was “My heart and lute”. A deceptively simple yet powerful melody.

This and the next song are taken from English romantic songs and ballads of the early 19th century with guitar accompaniments of the period (London, Tecla Editions, 1983). The full original title of this song is: My heart and lute, a ballad by Thomas Moore Esqr. The music by Henry R. Bishop, Arranged with an accompaniment for the guitar by A. Donnadieu. Source: a copy in my own collection, published in London by J. Power in about 1829. It is interesting to note that this arrangement by Donnadieu was also published in New York by William Hall & Son, 239 Broadway, probably in the 1830s (xerox copy in the Archive of the Guitar Foundation of America), copied apparently from the Power edition.

28. Alexander Lee: When the dew is on the grass.

A typical ballad from mid-19th century England. The copy from which this is taken, in my own collection, bears the manuscript date 1840, although it was probably published a few years earlier. The full title is: When the dew is on the grass, a Ballad, As Sung by Mrs. Waylett, with the most enthusiastic applause. Composed and Dedicated to Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson, by Alexander Lee. Arranged for the Guitar by T. B. Phipps. London: Shade.

29. Tomás de Medel: La Monona.

Another song from the New World: this time from Cuba, published probably about 1840. Tomás de Medel warrants a short entry in Domingo Prat’s Diccionario de Guitarristas (Buenos Aires, 1934). He is also mentioned in a book about cultural life in Cuba, Serafín Ramirez’s La Habana Artística (Havana, 1891), p. 474: “Medel (Tomás), de España, conocido profesor de guitarra. Vivió entre nosotros largos años hasta que al fin regresó a la Peninsula en donde murió hace algún tiempo” (“Medel, Tomás, of Spain, a well-known teacher of the guitar. He lived among us [i.e., in Cuba] for many years, and finally returned to Spain where he died some time ago”). The title of his song, “La Monona”, is a diminutive of mona, meaning pretty or delightful, which one can say both of his song and of the girl who is its subject.

Source: La Monona, Canción compuesta por D. Tomas de Medel. Havana: J. F. Edelmann, Calle de la Obra Pia No. 12. The original has alternative guitar or piano accompaniments. I am grateful to Roland H. B. Stearns for drawing my attention to this song.

30. Alexander Egorovich Varlamov: Krasnoe seraphan.

One of the most popular songs of early 19th century Russia. “Krasnoe seraphan” was composed by Varlamov (1801-48) to a text by N. Tzyganov and was first published in Moscow in Varlamov’s Musical Album for 1833. It rapidly became popular in all social groups and circulated like a folk song, often without mention of the name of the composer, so that soon it was generally thought of as being a traditional air. (I am grateful to Dr Margarita Mazo for information regarding the origins of this song.)

The setting published here comes from a MS collection of songs with guitar, all arranged by Felix Horetzky and probably in his hand, which is in my own collection. Horetzky (1796-1870) was Polish and lived for many years in the U.K., settling in Edinburgh. Many of his works were published here, as well as abroad, and some of them have been republished in Poland. (See Jozef Powrozniak, Gitarren-Lexikon, second edition, Berlin, 1980.)

On page 83, bottom line, bar 3, the D has no sharp in the original; the sharp has here been added editorially.

31. Thomas Moore: The harp that once thro’ Tara’s halls.

“[Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh] and other large-scale works are now forgotten, but their author is not, nor can he be so long as singers and listeners continue to value such simple yet elegant, impassioned yet sincere poems as ‘The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls’ … ” (Dr Percy Scholes in The Oxford Companion to Music, Tenth Edition).

From Moore’s Irish Melodies. No. 5 in Album of Songs for Voice and Guitar (London: Reid Bros.). Copy: my own collection, with MS date 1896.

32. M.W. Balfe: Then you’ll remember me.

Thaddeus’ famous aria from Balfe’s The Bohemian Girl, first performed in London in 1843. Copy: my own collection. The edition is undated but is of the 1890s. The slight vocal ornament at the end of the second verse is not in Ellis’ arrangement, but is supplied from a copy of the first edition of the vocal score of The Bohemian Girl in my own collection.

33. Charles Gounod: Sérénade (Berceuse).

This arrangement of Gounod’s famous Serenade comes, again, from Album of Songs for Voice and Guitar (no. 2) (London, Reid Bros.), with MS date 1896. The flute or violin part, which is optional, comes from an edition with piano accompaniment in my own collection.

If the song is sung with guitar accompaniment only and without the flute or violin, then the guitarist should play the small notes in the guitar part. If, however, the song is sung with guitar and also with flute or violin, then the guitar should omit those small notes.

Suitably adapted, the flute/violin part can also be used for violoncello.

In the penultimate bar, the marking on the chords replaces a diagonal line drawn through the chords in the original.


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Copyright 2005 by Tecla Editions. Errors and omissions excepted.