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The Sighs



Year Authored (or revised): 



solo guitar

Duration (min): 


First Performance: 

November 6, 2015 Dieter Hennings
  1. Picasso's Blue Guitar
  2. Les Soupirs
  3. The Unicorn
  4. Idée Fixe
  5. Beautiful Dreamer
  6. Memory's Persistence
  7. Petite Reprise

Ensemble Type: 

solo instrumental (non-keyboard)

Composer's note:

The Sighs is a suite in seven movements for solo guitar; its subject is melancholy. The movements Les Soupirs and Petite Reprise borrow music found in Rameau's work Les Soupirs from Pieces de Clavecin. Jean-Philippe Rameau - tall, extremely thin, solitary, irascible - reminded me of the figure from Picasso's blue-period 'The Old Guitarist.' Picasso's Blue Guitar is the result. There is hardly a more melancholy story than that of mid-19th century songwriter Stephen Collins Foster, who wrote songs, like Beautiful Dreamer and My Old Kentucky Home. Earning very little from the sale of his music, and almost nothing in performance rights, he died penniless in the Bowery at age 37. Memory's Persistence refer's to another well-known painting, from the 1930's, by Salvatore Dali. Idée Fixe also imagines memory, as obsession. The Unicorn, and the legend illustrated through the 'The Unicorn Tapestries,' is concerned with the hunt and capture of the mythical creature. It chooses not to escape, and endures "happy captivity."

Listening Sample: 

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