Robert Ferguson


Facsimile, Henry Worrall, Spanish Retreat


Ferguson examines Henry Worrall's Spanish Retreat. Its origins go back to London, specifically to two guitar prints published there in the mid-1820s. Though the earliest of these (c.1826) states that the piece was "arranged for guitar" by Alexander Sosson, this does not necessarily indicate that it was originally written for a different instrument, such as piano. "Arranged" could mean the piece was already in circulation among guitarists, or another guitarist created or popularized it, and Sosson merely reworked it (and wrote it down). Moreover, imitating other instruments, at which the guitar proved particularly adroit, constituted the essence and charm of this piece for its listeners. Without comparable timbral resources, the piano could capture this dimension only faintly--further pointing to the guitar as the intended medium.



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