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Tchaikovsky : arr Raymond Burley : Andante Cantabile for 4 guitars : DOz

Tchaikovsky: arr Raymond Burley.

Les Productions D’Oz: Score and separate parts (12, 4, 4, 4, and 4 pages respectively)

This is an arrangement of a movement from Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No1 Op11, with one of those tunes that you will instantly recognize even if you’ve never heard the String Quartet .It has been arranged for string orchestra before (amongst other versions) and here Ray Burley has made his arrangement for a guitar quartet, all normal instruments with guitar 4 on a dropped D 6th.

For a great deal of the time, the parts are merely single notes, and so the difficulty factor is not too high as , apart from the very occasional little run of small notes, everything is in quavers or larger, and so there are no really difficult sections here other than the four players keeping in time with each other.

The famous tune enters immediately on guitar one with the other three just playing harmonising melody lines. For a few bars at bar 19 onwards guitars one and three do have four – note turns of hemi – demi – semi- quavers at various points but even here nothing is too difficult. At bar 56 the middle section enters with the other expressive melody that listeners will recognize, again on guitar one with accompanying harmonies on the other three guitars.(indeed at this point guitar 4 plays the same four note motif for 26 bars, at which point a new four note motif continues for several more bars) The original melody then re- enters and things start to draw to a conclusion with guitars 2, 3, and 4 now playing a two quaver rhythm made up of repeated chords (spread over the three players) This leads to the final coda where a rising morendo theme brings the piece to the final two bars , consisting of two pianissimo chords.

This is a lovely piece of music that fits excellently onto the four guitars and would suit any quartet of decent players, ad would certainly delight any audiences who come to hear it.

Chris Dumigan

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