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The Czar's Guitars
(John Schneiderman & Oleg Timofeyev)
Souvenirs of Russia

Track Listings

1. God Save the Czar 
2. Potpourri of Russian Folk Songs I
3. Souvenir de Russie 
4. The Red Sarafan 
5. How Did I Upset You? 
6. Souvenir de Moscou
7. Russian Song 

8. I Will Saddle My Stallion 
9. Jenny Lind's Polka 
10. Polka 
11. Potpourri of Tyrolean Waltzes 
12. Potpourri of Russian Folk Songs II 
13. God Save the Tsar

This album is a Russian tribute to the Spanish composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839), more specifically, to his famous guitar duet Souvenir de Russie (Op. 63). Sor's Souvenir de Russie is paradoxically connected to the Russian guitar: the two themes Sor used for his compositions are genuine Russian folk tunes that often were chosen by Russian guitarists as themes in their variation sets. Also, even beyond the limits of the guitar repertoire, it was common in early-19th-century Russia to construct large-scale compositions based on two genuine folksongs. This album presents a collection of guitar compositions that all in some way relate to Sor's masterpiece.

Most of the tracks have at least one instrument with additional basses. On this recording when the two play duets (most tracks), Schneiderman primarily plays Russian quart guitar (7 strings on the fingerboard tuned to a C chord) and Timofeyev plays on a 12-string Russian harp guitar (7 strings tuned to a G chord + 5 additional basses).

The album is considered by the performers to be a Russian tribute to the Spanish composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839), or, even more specifically, to his famous guitar duet Souvenir de Russie (Op. 63). Much has been speculated about Sor’s time in Russia (1823-5), but the disappointing truth is that there is no recorded record of his guitar-related activities in that country. It is known that on his Russian journey he followed his wife Fèlicitè Hullen, who was appointed a prima-ballerina in Moscow. The ensemble decided to make Sor’s masterpiece the foundation of this album. They surrounded it with real Russian guitar music that would create an unusual context for Sor’s piece and would also illustrate how the Russian musical culture was organically connected to the repertoires in Western and Central Europe.

With works by Russian composers such as Vladimir Morkov, Semion Aksionov, Fernando Sor and Mikhail Glinka, this album truly brings the treasures of Russian guitar music to the listeners by performers that know it best. This is sure to be a loved by guitarists, chamber music lovers, and music collectors around the world.

Note: The last track ends abruptly, which is not a defect, but an "editing choice" by Dorian.

About the Artist

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