Lennox Berkeley’s Quatre Pieces Pour La Guitare

Allan Clive Jones
Classical Guitar, February 2003, 18-21 and March 2003, pp 18-23

The discovery of the manuscript of Lennox Berkeley’s Quatre Pièces pour la Guitare in Segovia’s archive in May 2001 was one of the more remarkable findings in a cache that yielded many surprises. In this article I will look briefly at the background to Berkeley’s Quatre Pièces, and in Part 2 I will look at the work itself. Although the manuscript of the Quatre Pièces is undated, it seems virtually certain that it was written in the late 1920s, when Berkeley was a student in Paris. The French mtitle alone suggests this, but in addition we have the testimony of Julian Bream, who has reported that during work with Berkeley on the Guitar Concerto in 1974, Berkeley gave him a number of scores that had belonged to Segovia. Segovia had let Berkeley have these scores in 1928 for consultation, presumably in connection with the Quatre Pièces.The discovery of the Quatre Pièces has a double interest. For guitarists, the significance of a newly discovered work by a composer of Berkeley’s stature hardly needs to be emphasised. For Berkeley scholars, the discovery of a piece from Berkeley’s student years, a period from which numerous works have been lost, sheds additional light on the composer’s development

Lennox Berkeley’s Quatre Pieces Pour La Guitare


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