A survey of selected guitar works by Ivan Padovec
Ivan Padovec (1800-1873) is noted as the only nineteenth-century Croatian guitar virtuoso and composer who has gained international recognition. At the time of his greatest successes he concertized throughout Europe, and his compositions were frequently published. After the disappearance of the guitar from the concert stage in the second half of the nineteenth century, he and his works were forgotten and outside Croatia he remains virtually unknown. This study provides a biography of Ivan Padovec and a brief history of Croatia in the early nineteenth century. Padovec's achievements as a performer and his contribution to the nineteenth-century guitar are discussed and selected works for the guitar are analyzed. The writer cataloged Padovec's compositions according to the performing medium. Content and characteristics of each category were briefly described. The main body of the study focuses on Padovec's guitar music. A total of fifteen theme-and-variations sets for solo guitar were chosen as representatives of his guitar writing. Those compositions represent Padovec's largest body of published works for solo guitar and, in the opinion of the writer, provide the best insight into his style of composing for the instrument. The works were examined and presented in more detail with regard to form, melody, harmony, rhythm and technical requirements. Thirty musical examples and two tables clarify the text. A conclusion summarizes compositional techniques used in Padovec's sets of theme and variations, their technical difficulty and pedagogical usefulness. Appendices provide a list of Padovec's works and programs of the author's graduate recitals. The bibliography lists relevant historical sources for the biography of Ivan Padovec, reviews of his concerts, and articles about his life and work.