Light Suite by Leonard de Call

Light SuiteAs a composer of Hausmusik, de Call (1767-1815) wrote for dilettantes of modest technical and musical capabilities. It is this apparent simplicity, however – his ability, in reaction to the complexities of his Baroque forebears, to do more with less, that still charms us today.

De Call’s largely unarticulated melody may be likened to a princess, whose beauty is obscured under humble peasant garb. Nor did De Call possess the idiomatic flair innate to his Southerly peers, Sor, Giuliani, et al.

The present edition thus has two modest aims.

I have articulated his melodies in the ‘classical’ manner routine to violinists and flautists of his day (and I have done this in the belief that de Call would fervently approve) as well as to improve somewhat, the music’s sonority and texture.

True to his Hausmusic intentions, De Call did not utilize the high register. This octave is now occupied in the first movement by the second theme, (bars 9-10 and 13-14). Also, the accompaniment to thematic repetitions has been further enlivened by passing notes. (5-6 and 31-32)

A second intention is to preserve the work’s Hausmusik spirit of accessibility, while injecting the possibility of more brio, into the Rondo. (Arpeggios constructed according to sympathetic movement principles are more fluent than those based around alternation, a fact well recognized by Southern composers. Northern tradition, stemming from the lute, rather than the guitar, lacked sympathetic flair.) To this end I have replaced de Call’s rather unwieldy arpeggio voicing in the second section with more facile voicing based on Southern tradition.

In order to execute rest stroke accents, certain non-essential chord notes were deleted. A few “after dinner” ornaments have been added, as well.

(Recorded by Robert Luse and his student, Low Cheng Kit on Sept. 25 and 29. Recording engineer – Bruno Goh Luse)

Purchase score and parts at our online store.

Download recording of the first movement.

Download recording of the second movement.

Download recording of the third movement.

Note: When downloading the recordings, we recommend that you right click the link and choose ‘save target as’ in order to download the entire file before listening. We have chosen to use *.wav files in order to preserve the original sound of the guitar as far as possible. Due to the size of these files, the download may take some time, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

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