Guitar Sonata No. 2 (1998)

Programme Note: John Buckley

  1. Adagio
  2. Con brio
  3. Adagio espressivo
  4. Allegro energetico e brillante

Guitar Sonata No. 2 was commissioned by John Feeley with financial assistance from the Arts Council of Ireland and was completed in December 1998. The first performance was given by John Feeley in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Gallery, Dublin in June 1999.

The first movement Adagio is predominantly concerned with the elaborate development of melodic lines alongside more dramatic gestures. The entire movement derives from the material of the opening bars. The music is generally contrapuntal and seeks to exploit the guitar's facility for enabling textures to be created from different elements.

In contrast the second movement Con brio is a vigorous toccata in constant semiquaver motion.

A slow third movement Adagio espressivo sustains a mood of lyrical melancholy throughout combining a song-like melodic line with more elaborate flourishes.

The final movement Allegro energetico e brillante is a rhythmically impelled finale with frequently changing time signatures and a strong emphasis on chordal writing.

Coming to terms with the technical aspects of the guitar can be a daunting task for a composer who like me is a non-guitarist. I am deeply indebted to John Feeley for his invaluable advice and assistance in this regard.

Guitar Sonata No. 2 is dedicated to John Feeley.