Beethoven Violin Concerto arranged for guitar by Kazuhito Yamashita

Kazuhito Yamashita's arrangement of Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D, Opus 61
Kazuhito Yamashita's arrangement of Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D, Opus 61

From the Preface by Kazuhito Yamashita

"This"Beethoven's Guitar Concerto" is one of my best arrangements made after the "Pictures at an Exhibition" was already published. To my joy the simultaneous publication of the record and musical score has been realized, following the concerts in Nagasaki and Tokyo through which this work become known.

My encounter with this remarkable piece went back to December 1979. 1 was choosing the works for the 21st regular concert of the Nagasaki Guitar Music School, entitled "An Evening of Concertos,

with the Nagasaki Guitar Ensenble and Five Soloists chosen among it's Members" (March 29th, 1980). Wanting to shift the solo part of this concert to the guitar with as little change as possible, I consulted my father, the organiser and conductor of the concert,and he helped me realize this hope.

It was perhaps after the recording of the "Pictures at an Exhibition" in the spring of 1981 that I conceived the idea of arranging this piece as a guitar concerto. In addition to the same subconscious motive as the "Pictures at an Exhibition", I wanted to increase the small repertory of guitar concertos.

So I resumed intensive practice for the concert of that year in Nagasaki and at the same time, began to prepare the mucical score. The arrangement was besed on the original although I also referred to the piano version arranged by the composer himself. After the end of May, I was putting the finishing touches on

the arrangement by considering the results of the weekly practice with the Nagasaki Guiter Ensemble. There were great difficulties before the publication. and much advice was given to me by father and others. Thanks to such people surrounding me, I was able to continue to go my own way; moreover, the excellence of the guiter, the instrument of which I have thought of much since my childhood, and the charm of Beethoven's work lead me to achieve the completion of this arrangement.

  • 1981: First Performance at the Nagasaki Municipal Hall ( with the Nagasaki Guitar ensemble conducted by Toru Yamashita)
  • 1982: Concert at the Tokyo Central Hall
  • 1982: Simultaneous publication of the record and score.

In conclusion I wish to touch upon one other aspect of this work.

It is the Nagasaki Guitar Ensemble which gave the first performance and the Concert in Tokyo with me. From the nature of this piece, the performance with an orchestra could naturally have been considered, but my father and I were emphatic in our using a guitar ensemble.

The reason is that we want to study more thoroughly the guitar ensemble genre

which has been recentlv increasing in importance by taking charge of the arrangement of Beethoven's orchestra part. As for the concert in Tokyo, it was due to our heart's desire of showing, in this city, the results of the NAgasaki guitar ensemble which has seriously pursued the possibilities of the guitar ensemble.

Now I feel that this genre has advanced greatly. It is significant and impressive for me that in the course of the production and publication of Beethoven's Concerto we have had excellent results.

From now on I intend to play a still greater variety of works with the guitar, a truly wonderful instrument."

June, 1981 Kazuhito Yamashita