Andrei Sychra: Variations on the Russian folk song: Of all the Flowers,
I loved the Rose the Best.

For the Russian seven-string guitar.


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This music is a set of variations on the Russian folk song Vsekh tsvetochkov bol'e rozu ia liubil [Of All the Flowers I loved the Rose the best]. The sub-title says: vnov ispravlenye [newly corrected]. It was published as No. 8 in an anthology of Selected Works by Sychra, No. 4 in the Stellovsky-Gutheil catalogue.

It is difficult to say when exactly this music was originally published. Most probably it was first published in St. Petersburg, by Paez, circa 1815-1820, then reprinted from the same plates by Stellovsky after 1840, then reprinted, again using the same plates by Gutheil in about 1888, and finally reprinted, once again using the same plates, perhaps lithographic transfer, by the Gosizdat Soviet publishing house in 1926, from which these images are taken.

For biographical details on the composer see my preface to the Russian Collection Vol. II.

This music is intended to be played on the Russian seven-string guitar, an instrument tuned in an open G tuning, i.e., D'-G'-B-D-g-b-d'. With some minor modifications, this can be played also on a six string guitar in open G tuning.

Some comments:

1. The word Harm followed by a wavy line indicates that all the notes so marked are to be played as natural harmonics. The harmonics in octaves are easy to do in this tuning.

2. the word loco that follows, indicates a return to normal sounds.

3. Numbers above the line indicate LH fingers. Numbers below the line indicate fret numbers, if they are larger than 4. If they are smaller than 4, as in the first bars of Variation 5., then they are obviously LH.

4. It was customary at the time to us the LH thumb for stopping notes on the bass strings. You may need to adjust the fingerings if, like me, you cannot do this.

5.  It is not possible to play the last chord in the third measure before the end on a six string guitar, even in an open G tuning. I would suggest omitting the tenor line g.

6. Whenever possible, use the open strings and let them ring. (Note the campanela figurations in Variation 4.)


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Last Modified: Friday, February 22, 2008