instruments  solo guitar

year of production 2007

commissioned by Svenska Rikskonserter

dedication  Johannes Möller

duration 17‘   

first performance
March 1st 2009

Palladium, Malmö

Johannes Möller


(score revised)

work comments

When I received the news of this commission, I had no idea what it would lead to.
Writing for guitar solo is not the same as composing for orchestra where you have forty voices where you can easily mask an entire section. Here you are very naked to the bone.

The starting point for this work was from J.S. Bach’s Chaconne in D-minor that Johannes had performed in concert, originally written for violin but there is a version transcribed for guitar and piano made by Ferruccio Busoni. When I went to Cortona that lies in Tuscany, Italy

completed the southern mentality of this work.

”Arpalinea” is actually a merged word in Italian language, so arpa means ”harp” however in a musical context it’s more or less resembled with the word ”arpeggio” = broken chords.
”Linea” means a ”line”.

The work is divided in three parts.

I. Arpeggio: It starts with an opening ”chaconne-like” sequence and is marked with ”a certain depth” in which the chords starts to separate from the organum note in the bass and it culminates to a section called ”with rhythmical focus”. These sections alternates, variates which each other.

The middle section has a playful and childish atmosphere where the guitarist knocks on the body of the guitar resembling a Spanish folk instrument cajon. This is leading to a section which tends more to a very aggressive fusion-like riff that loses control and reaches its climax at the end.

II. Linea: The static rhytmical pulse is now disintegrated and it forms more or less sort of a free, improvisational state in a rubato-like tempo. The character is described as ”a very hot day with temperatures rising above 37° C (or 100° F) where you can hardly do anything just sitting dozed off and pespiring because of the extreme heat watching a huge fog coming up in the evening that spreads around the Tuscan atmosphere.”

III. Finale: It starts off with fast one-note ostinati then more and more notes pop up like a gradual rain storm with thunder strikes! And eventually it leads to that is ”a large flood through the streets of an medieval Southern town”. The work ends with a short circuit slapped strings along with extremely fast tremolos that reaches higher and louder as possible!

Reviews on Arpalinea:

[…] ”a bold piece…that have been composed specifically for Möller, with cool pointillistic effects, outbursts and butter-fly light breezes of pitches.” […]

Ulf Gustavsson, Upsala Nya Tidning November 17 2009


15 October

Uppsala Konsert & Kongress
Uppsala, Sweden
Johannes Möller, guitar

Broadcasted on SR P2 October 31st 2009.

2 December
Aalmarkthall, Leiden DUTCH PREMIERE!

Johannes Möller, guitar


23 June

Keller Hall (University of New Mexico) US PREMIERE!
New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival

Albequerque, New Mexico, USA
Elliot Simpson, guitar

29 June

California Conservatory of Guitar

Santa Clara, California, USA

Elliot Simpson, guitar

30 June
First Unitarian Church
San Francisco, California. USA
Elliot Simpson, guitar

08 July
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Elliot Simpson, guitar