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30 May 2024

WORLD PREMIERE: Sergei Gudelev Performs Sergei Rudnev’s "Potpourri - Fantasia on Themes by P. I. Tchaikovsky" (FREE SHEET MUSIC)

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Today marks a significant event in the classical guitar world as Russian guitarist Sergei Gudelev premiered the latest masterpiece by acclaimed composer Sergei Rudnev on our YouTube channel. The piece, titled "Potpourri - Fantasia on Themes by P. I. Tchaikovsky," is a brilliant compilation of Tchaikovsky’s timeless melodies, reimagined for the classical guitar.

Sergei Gudelev’s performance is nothing short of spectacular! He recorded this piece on a 2024 Vladimir Druzhinin CD/AR - a guitar that is coming soon to GSI. We would also like to thank Vladimir for organizing this video shoot and the world premiere of this piece.

Rudnev’s "Potpourri" seamlessly weaves together various themes from Tchaikovsky’s works. It's a stunning composition. It's also not the end of surprises! Sergei Rudnev has agreed to offer a PDF of this piece downloadable for FREE! You can download it by clicking on the button below.


FREE SHEET MUSIC HERE

Transcribing world classics for the guitar is not an easy process. One must respect the original composition, while also exploring the unique capabilities of the guitar. Sergei Rudnev shared with us some of his thoughts regarding `Potpourri-fantasia on themes by P. I. Tchaikovsky'.

Sergei Rudnev: "The following factors should be taken into consideration when transcribing world classics for guitar.

  • First, remember that the guitar is a transposing instrument. It sounds an octave lower than what is actually written in the notes.
  • Second, one has to choose the primary register for the exposition of the melody. The theme, bass, and accompaniment should settle into it most naturally. For example, the main melody will sound the best and most expressive from approximately the fifth to the twelfth fret. It’s important, but not always possible. Here we do not touch on other registers yet. When transcribing some simple piano pieces, you have to change the key so that they correspond to this particular guitar register. The music sounds most adequate then.
  • Next, one must consider the musical texture, which can be simplified while preserving the melody and bass line. After all, it is the melody (and only then the harmony) that we hear first. This is a basic rule, but it must be taken into account.
  • Of course, I listened to a broad range of very different music written by Tchaikovsky while transcribing for the guitar. I analyzed his harmonies and melodic turns. This is where the idea for transitions between the themes came from. They had to be an organic part of the piece and preserve the style of Tchaikovsky. Here his symphonic music helped me a lot.
  • Initially, there were many more themes, but I had to, as they say, “bite the bullet” and limit my selections because I couldn’t include them all. For example, I wanted to use a theme from the Sixth Symphony or the Four Seasons so much! However, it was the Potpourri form that dictated a light format. It was necessary to show a wide variety of music and, more importantly, to keep this fantasy from being boring.
  • Next came the choice of keys and, of course, an adaptation to the instrument so that the performance would be comfortable and not resemble a circus act. Preserving the natural essence of Tchaikovsky's music was, of course, the main goal and sometimes difficult.  Eventually, the listener has to immerse himself in the amazing world of Pyotr Ilyich’s music, and only then discover the guitar as an instrument. This complex idea was implemented very thoughtfully, I took my time. There was an ambitious task to solve: Write it the way Tchaikovsky himself would have written it for the guitar!

Check out the video below! If you like this guitar, don't hesitate to contact us with questions!

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