California Guitar Archives

Ernst Krenek: Eight Pieces for Two Guitars

Ernst Krenek: Eight Pieces for Two Guitars



This composer-authorized transcription was prepared by Theodore Norman (to whom Krenek's 1957 Suite is dedicated) from Eight Piano Pieces (1946). Each piece explores different aspects of twelve-tone rows, and many textural elements are brought out by the duo setting. The composer's mastery and sense of humor are in full evidence here, as is the artful, nuanced transcription by Norman.

This newly engraved, 36-page 2nd edition also includes the original piano music and rare photos of Krenek taken in the 1940s in the US.

Four of these works are performed on the Elgart/Yates Music of the 20th Century recording.


Norman...has exercised fine judgment in choosing to transcribe these eight short pieces...they manage to avoid overused guitaristic devices. . . . recommended to the aspiring and more established guitar duos.

Classical Guitar (Steve Walter) (England)

Norman's transcriptions are carefully and intelligently done, with fingerings and distributions of parts which optimize contrapuntal sense and timbral clarity. The result is music which lies logically on the guitar even as it extends the resources of the instrument.

Elgart & Yates Duo (USA)

Krenek's . . . music is melodic . . . and witty. These eight pieces are worthy of being played, both for sheer enjoyment and for exposure to the music and skills of a fine composer.

Soundboard (Garth Baxter) (USA)

These miniatures are delightfully transparent when played on guitars. They are written in a strict twelve-tone style, and the timbre of the guitars softens the unrelenting harshness of the harmonies. The guitars improve the clarity of the counterpoint in some places and provide more subtlety of dynamics, phrasing, and articulation.

Notes (Don McKenzie) (USA)

Transcribed from Eight Piano Pieces by Theodore Norman.

  1. Krenek: Etude
  2. Krenek: Invention
  3. Krenek: Scherzo
  4. Krenek: Toccata
  1. Krenek: Nocturne
  2. Krenek: Waltz
  3. Krenek: Air
  4. Krenek: Rondo