Mazurka for guitar. 3′. 1984, rev. 2018, 2022. MIDI recording:
A transcription of the Mazurka for piano from 1983. I mention Mazurka in a peripatetic ramble here about my guitar composing. I believe I wrote it for Bill Ghezzi as my first try at writing for guitar. My recollection is that we worked on it a little, that there were some unplayable bits in it, but that I never got back to it. I did write Four Hymns for Four Guitars for Bill’s Philadelphia Guitar Quartet subsequently, and a solo Totentanz for him, but this Mazurka has never been premiered.
I showed the hand-written Mazurka to another guitarist a few years ago, who suggesting edits to make it more idiomatic for guitar. This time, I made the changes, and dusted up some other bits. Finally, after my experience writing for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in The Dawn’s Early Light for Conspirare, and using the Mazurka again in my Thirty Variations on a Theme of Bartók for piano, I made a wholesale rewrite of this guitar version. (To make it even more confusing, the Bartók variation is an abbreviated version of the first guitar Mazurka. I also changed some notes to make it more legitimately a variation of the Bartók theme. For this 2022 guitar version of the Mazurka I kept the changed notes but also restored the original length.) Tom Clippinger premiered it 24 Apr 2022 at the Guitar International Salon in Los Angeles.