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Pachelbel-Stevens, Ciacona

Pachelbel-Stevens, Ciacona

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Arranged for solo guitar by Thomas Bocklenberg
Fingerings by Thomas Bocklenberg and Andreas Stevens

While I was doing my research about Andrés Segovia’s concerts and other activities in Germany I found a programme from November, 29th 1938 in Hannover where a chacona was in the Maestro’s repertoire. Not a big surprise because the interpretation of Bach’s Chaconne was a milestone in Segovia’s career for many years. The real surprise to me was that the composer was not Bach but another German baroque master: Johann Pachelbel (1778-1706). When I tried to find more about this work I became aware that to my great astonishment there was no edition or recording of that piece. This composition showed up in Segovia’s concert programmes between 1937 and 1940. When and where the first audition took place is still an open question.
In a letter to his friend Sophocles Papas dated July, 18th 1939 Segovia wrote that he just had sent music by Pachelbel and other composers to Schott and that it was going to be published very soon but this piece never showed up in Segovia’s series.
So I went several times to the Schott archive in Mainz, where I had the opportunity to examine the complete correspondence between Segovia and Schott. I could not find any trace of that piece. Also in the Segovia museum in Linares where many documents and music are housed nothing is to be found of that ciacona.
So this was a dead-end street and I decided to have a look directly at Pachelbel’s music without the help of the Maestro. Then the most popular ciacona in f-minor by the master from Nürnberg fell into my hands. Looking at the bass line I was immediately sure that this was the very piece that I have been looking for. The Spanish cadence, so typical for flamenco pieces was the base of that composition.
At that point I consulted a colleague and friend of mine the German guitarist Thomas Bocklenberg who is also a lute player and a trained composer, to make a transcription of this piece. We started a discussion about tonality and other aspects of the ciacona. Up to now, I could not find any programme of Segovia that mentions the tonality of his arrangement, so different solutions seemed to be possible. Tuning down 2 strings to play it in g-minor was one option but looking into Segovia’s placing of it in his programmes makes it not very probable that he chose this possibility. So we decided to use a-minor what by the way is the original key for the Spanish cadence.
The transcription turned out to be a substantial contribution to the repertoire of the guitar and after my video recording of it, I got many requests about the publication from all parts of the world. 
Andreas Stevens July 2021
  • Product: PDF or Print on Demand
  • Pages: 20 pages 
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Order number: BE-211014
  • ISMN 979-0-706820-76-7

Listen to Andreas Stevens playing the Ciacona:


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