John W. Duarte - Sonata in D Minor Op.4

New Publication - Sonata in D Minor Op.4

Doberman-Yppan have just published Sonata in D Minor Op.4 (DO 1514) for guitar solo. This three-movement work was written in 1946-7, ‘in the shadow of Beethoven and Sor, rather more Sor than Beethoven in it’(1). In 1948, Duarte, Terence Usher (his erstwhile teacher) and several other interested guitarists went to a concert by Andrés Segovia. Afterwards, Usher showed Segovia several of Duarte’s compositions and he took an especial interest in this Sonata. Segovia told Usher to “keep him writing and keep me informed”(1). In 1964 the middle movement (then titled Larghetto) was published by Columbia Music Co., along with his Prelude in C Op.3 dating from 1945, under the name of Jack Duarte, his ‘familiar’ name. It’s not clear why this was the only movement which was published, but we are now using the opportunity to publish the whole Sonata. With the help of Cristiano Porqueddu we have carefully examined the original manuscript and have made a modern performing edition and, in the middle movement, returned to the original notation of the manuscript, which was changed for the Columbia publication (Two Pieces for Guitar, 494-00341).

The Sonata is a lengthy work, by Duarte’s standards, standing at more than 400 bars and we are pleased to bring it forward to the guitar-playing community for study, performance and enjoyment.

(1) Excerpts from Albert F. Kunze, ‘The Life and Works of John W. Duarte’ (unpublished DMA thesis, University of Miami, 1987)