Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Divan of Moses-Ibn-Ezra,op. 207, (1966) is a song cycle in five parts for voice and guitar. It is an extremely important chamber work as few pieces of this magnitude exist in the guitar repertoire. As it is a substantial piece of music of approximately forty minutes duration, it stands alone among the works of other contemporary composers who have written for this genre on a much reduced scale.
From my research, it has become apparent that this extraordinary work has had limited concert performance. Of the many possible explanations, predominant amongst them are the inherent difficulties in its practical performance. Simply stated, the piece was not written with any particular idiomatic approach to the guitar and as such, it presents fundamental difficulties and technical impossibilities for the guitarist. These make it clearly an unattractive piece to perform and it is likely that, for this reason alone, it has gained minimal recognition as a major chamber work in the guitar repertoire. It is of interest to note that Castelnuovo-Tedesco realised all his guitar compositions at the piano for later revision and redrafting, in consultation with his inner circle of highly regarded guitarists. They included Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Siegfried Behrend, Ruggiero Chiesa, Laurindo Almeida, Oscar Ghiglia, Ida Presti, Alexandre Lagoya, Angelo Gilardino and Ronald C, Purcell.