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The Presti – Lagoya Collection Volume 8 : Schubert edited by Frederic Zigante: Berben

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

The Presti – Lagoya Collection Volume 8

Sonata D821 (Arpeggione)

Franz Schubert

Berben, Score and separate parts (64, 27, and 27 pages respectively)

Reviewed 24th January 2018

This ground – breaking series of the works played and arranged by the legendary Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya now reaches its eighth volume.

As before the books are larger than most publications and very high quality throughout. Similarly to before there is an extended 20 pages of Preface and Foreword giving biographical outlines, a note about Lagoya’s transcriptions for two guitars , and finally the criteria for the present edition, all very fascinating material and essential reading.

The work itself is a melancholy three – movement piece consisting of an Allegro Moderato in Am with two main themes and three sections, followed by an Adagio in E major very song – like in style that effortlessly links to the final movement , which is a Rondo with a very Hungarian – styled theme. The arpeggione itself, (now a defunct instrument) was a combination of a guitar and a cello. Also called the Guitare d’amour it had the tuning, the shape and the same number of strings as a guitar, but had the size, playing position (between the legs) and the bow of a cello. It soon disappeared with Schubert its only prominent composer.

Therefore this is an ideal work for two guitars and, whilst being, as with most of Lagoya’s transcriptions, rather difficult to play, it remains a truly beautiful piece of work, and indeed is a Sonata of quality, whose only misfortune was to be written for a very short – lived instrument. Highly recommended.

Chris Dumigan

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