Antoine de Lhoyer: Three Sonatas for guitar and Violin
Op. 18

Edited by Matanya Ophee

Score. 32 pp.

$11.95, Presser Order number 494-02948 (EICM-25a)

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The three sonatas use the Italian two movement sonata form where the opening movement is followed by a more lively second movement. Thus, Sonata I, in D Major, opens with a Moderato movement which is followed by Vivace movement on the Chasse (La caccia) theme, a theme that has been used by many composers since about the fourteenth century. Sonata II in d minor opens with an Allegro Moderato movement, followed by a brief D Major Adagio, which leads into a fiery Vivace in d minor. Sonata III is back in again in D Major, with a Moderato opening movement followed by a Rondo allegro which uses a typical Haydnesque theme. Of particular interest is the theme of the Allegro moderato movement of Sonata II. It is a partial quotation of a Russian song that achieved wide popularity already during the last decades of the eighteenth century.

A Set of parts is available separately. (EICM-25).

Antoine de Lhoyer was born on 6 September 1768 in Clermont-Ferrand, in the heart of France. His family appears to have been a well-to-do famille bourgeoise. Little is known about his childhood, but one source states that he studied music in Paris with excellent masters. In the early autumn of 1789 he embarked upon a military career by entering the Gardes du Corps du Roi, where he served until the imprisonment of the Royal Family in 1791. De Lhoyer left the country at the end of 1791 and went to Coblenz where he enlisted with the armée des Princes, a principal counter-revolutionary unit. His enlistment with this army lasted until the end of 1792. In the ensuing years, time and again de Lhoyer joined military units fighting against revolutionary France: during 1794-97 he participated in the various campaigns of the Austrian army, and in 1799-1800 he was in the armée de Condé, another leading émigré military unit. He settled as a guitarist in Hamburg in 1800 where some of his guitar works, including his 1802 guitar concerto, were published. He went to Russia sometime in early 1803; on his way he passed through Berlin where he appeared in a concert in December 1802. He clearly obtained a prominent position at the imperial court in St. Petersburg were he stayed until his return to France in 1812, just before Napoleon’s Russian campaign. He served in various command positions in the French army until his forced retirement in 1830. He died on 15 March, 1852 in Paris at the age of 84.

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