Recensies

Micro Movements

microMICRO MOVEMENTS for guitar

by Eugene Den Hoed

Muziekuitgeverij Iduna. 20pp.

This Dutch composer’s pieces are always worth playing. He manages to write in a contemporary way without frightening your granny, whilst retaining a truly modern edge to it.

This latest set of modestly sized pieces (one page each) are for guitarists around grades 4-6 and although they often, being studies, have a technical bent to them, they are always musical arid both interesting and rewarding to get your fingers into.

Many different techniques arc ‘studied’ in these pieces and so it would be churlish of me to actually single any out but suffice it to say that the moods within arc many and varied and the challenges you will face trying them out will task you but they are actually really worth the effort required. This is a very good publication to give your pupils or indeed one to try out at recitals, because musically they are more than interesting.

Chris Dumigan – Classical Guitar Magazine

Sonatina Ostinato

sonatina_ostinatoSONATINA OSTINATO for solo guitar

by Eugène den Hoed

Muziekuitgeverij Iduna VOF. 16pp.

Eugene den Hoed teached at the Centrum voor de Kunsten in Bergen op Zoom-Holland and his past studies have included ones with with South American guitarist Baltazar Benitez. As well as studying classical guitar, he also has had strong connections with rock bands (e.g. the instrumental progressive rock group of the 70s. Bonfire) and has had a large number of original compositions and arrangements published by Muziekuitgeverij Iduna.

Over the past few years I seem to have reviewed a number of editions of music written by Eugène den Hoed and as far I can recollect I have never been disappointed by his music.

Sonatina Ostinato is a three-part work written in a contemporary fashion and dedicated to Leo Brouwer. The opening movement, an Allegro, is the obvious influence of the composition’s overall title, with its forward thrust of the ever-moving syncopated melodic line and with its mildly caustic edge to it creating tension almost all the way through: quite an exciting beginning to the work.

A sense of serenity comes with the tranquil second movement; a short episode illustrating how to compose economically for the instrument and still retain musical interest. The animated finale brings the work to a stimulating conclusion with rapid scales and arpeggios leaping around the first twelve frets of the fingerboard to dramatic effect with just a brief few moments of serenity in the form of an Interlude mid-way through.

Looking at the score, one might be forgiven for thinking that this work is much more technically difficulty than it actually is. I remember reading several years ago that Eugene den Hoed had the commendable ambition to write contemporary music aimed specifically at the Intermediate player. As this piece would be suitable for any Grade 6 player seeking to extend their repertoire into the world of ‘modem’ music it seems that he is realis¬ing his ambition.

Altogether a most satisfying and welcome new addition to the repertoire.

Steve Marsh – Classical Guitar Magazine

Three Pieces for Guitar

3piecesforguitarTHREE PIECES FOR GUITAR

by Eugene Den Hoed

Muziekuitgeverij Iduna. 20pp.

This composer can always be relied upon to write beautifully structured music with a penchant for the individual harmony and the completely unexpected melody, whilst keeping the player occupied and engrossed throughout. This latest work is no exception.

The first movement is a Danza Nova set in a mixture of 9/8 and 6/8. After a repeated octave B leading to a brief introductory statement, the piece begins for real with a musical idea based around a succession of three-note chords, (B, G and A7) that sound on paper as if they shouldn’t go together well, but they do. Everything begins mostly in qua-vers, although the difficulty factor goes up a step or two with the lightning-fast semiquaver runs that enter shortly afterwards, although they fit well under the hands. After a return to the opening three-chord idea a new light airy theme emerges on the top strings before a final return of the opening Idea and its semiquaver companion before a final coda consisting of a bass note flourish and a glissando chord.

Moments of Dissonance is exactly that namely a piece in mainly two voices which at times almost accidentally clash with a momentary dissonance before moving on. There is a large central section of long held chords that provide a welcome oasis from the opening idea that eventually returns only to make way for a sudden passage involving sextuplet semiquaver chords, before a return to the opening sections and a coda that leaves one deliberately in the air.

The final Asturioso references the Albeniz Asturias with quickly moving arpeggios under-pinned by a moving bass melody. After a Consider- I able time, a slower more relaxed middle idea enters marked Con Calma before a varied return to the initial arpeggio idea leads to a sudden quiet patch where the music slows down and the whole work ends in quiet harmonies. Always interesting to play and never predictable. this latest work is quite challenging technically but like so many of his other works, well worth getting your hands around.

Chris Dumigan – Classical Guitar Magazine

Nuances and Imaginations

nuances200x279NUANCES AND IMAGINATIONS

by Eugene Den Hoed

Iduna Muziekuitgeverij V.O.F. 35pp.

This is a collection of 16 intermediate pieces that in the words of the Preface ‘offer a range of different musical atmospheres’. They are widely diverse in both music and their technical requirements and yet are written with accessibility in mind.

With this I absolutely agree. The first thing that strikes you about all the pieces is an almost folky element to the harmonies. I then realised that the writer has often used modal harmonies in a most individual way so that they constantly sound fresh and individual. An initial strangeness in their writing gives way quickly to the feeling that you are playing something compellingly individual that grabs you musically. There are literally no second-rate pieces here but really outstanding ones include Shades, with its second section that I couldn’t get out of my head; the almost robotic Trip to Mechanism I; the warmly emotive The End of A Sunny Sunday; the wonderfully oriental sound of The Geisha that absolutely refuses to include any hackneyed ‘oriental’ intervals yet sounds perfectly right and correct and the delightfully quirky Twisted Logic.

I cannot stress enough I enjoyed this fabulous book, which is full of wonderful music. Any decent player will get such a lot from it that it should be on all our shelves. 

Chris Dumigan – Classical Guitar Magazine

Two Suites for two guitars – Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

TWO SUITES for two guitars Two_Suites_For_Two_Guitars

by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

Muziekuitgeverij Iduna V.O.F. Score only 36pp.

The Dutch guitarist Eugene den Hoed has produced some marvellous works over the years. This latest one is an arrangement for two guitars from an original instrumental source but as there are no specific details, I can’t tell you what it was originally written for. The two suites concerned are a nine-movement one in C and a seven movement one in G.

The first one in C is very playable. There are not usually more than three or four voices in total over the two guitars and it all fits very well indeed. There is a pleasant allemande, a slightly surprising Fanfare, a work one doesn’t normally find in a baroque suite, a minuetcourante, rondeau, pavane, and a pair of da capo rigaudons to finish. If you can sense a little reticence in my words, it is because I found the music pleasant though sometimes rather dull. I love playing baroque on the guitar and have great respect for Den Hoed, but, oh for a modulation here and there to break the monotony.

The second suite in G did nothing new to change my opinion gained from the first suite. It was nice and playable, and fitted well under the hands. At least here there were a couple of movements in G minor to relieve the constant three-chord trick.

The standard of the arranging is very high, and as I said previously the music is playable and clear and finely fingered and produced.

Chris Dumigan – Classical Guitar Magazine

New Different Moods

NEW DIFFERENT MOODS (16 pieces for guitar)

new_different_moods

Muziekuitgeverij Iduna V.O.F. 28pp

This Dutch composer always writes good, interesting and effective material and the latest bunch of 16 short, yet quite substantial works is no exception.

They are varied in style and content, yet all have a lack of the obvious or hackneyed phrase and harmony, as they manage to sound fresh and new; just unusual enough to keep your interest.

They range from the tongue-in-cheek Tangolito, to the almost folk-like A Quiet Afternoon, or the almost enigmatically harmonised Morning Dew. They tend to be of moderate difficulty although some of the difficulty factor stems from the occasional unusual chord shape or group of notes that can catch you by surprise but then again they are some of the delights in playing these pieces, for you really don’t know what you are going to find.

This is a fine set, with much to enjoy, and if you do not know this man’s music, take a flyer and give them a go, for you will almost certainly not be disappointed.

(Classical Guitar  – October 2013)

Cd ‘Music for Guitar’

CD ‘MUSIC FOR GUITAR’

‘Serenade; A Train in the Distance; Another Evocation; The Candy Store; Sentimental Strings; Cameleon Blues; Divertimento; Praeludium, Theme and four Variations; Evocations Nos. 1, 2, 9 and 8; A Fancy; Story Without Words; The Naughty Clown; Tropical Delight; Some Small Hours; Fantasia nos. 4 and 5. JOSEPH BODIN de BOlSMOTIER, from ‘music for two guitars’: Sauteuse; Air; Rondeau. The published works which I have encountered through reviewing editions by this Dutch composer have usually been met with approval and satisfaction. According to the sleeve notes to this privately released album, Eugène den Hoed has recorded his complete output for sologuitar on four discs, and this CD under review contains a selection -27 tracks in all – from the other four recordings; a ‘sampler’ if you like. Listed as ‘bonus’ tracks are three duets (performed with Maxim Slock) by the French Baroque composer JOSEPH BODIN de BOISMORTIER. Although the music on the album is of a good standard, the CD is more likely to appeal to anyone studying den Hoed’s music rather than a disc to have on in the car or as background music etc. The obvious appeal here is to hear the composer playing the music as intended and to this purpose I can recommend this recording. Steve Marsh – Classical Guitar, september 2008 

The Mysterious Guitar

THE MYSTERIOUS GUITAR for solo guitar by Eugene den Hoed Muziekuitgeverij Iduna 0V. 26pp.

The Dutch guitarist Eugene den Hoed (once a member of the symphonic popgroup ‘Bonfire’) is a prolific composer of guitar music and, according to what little knowledge I can gleam from a small bit of research, has the admirable ambition to write contemporary music aimed specifically at the intermediate player. From the evidence of this new edition under review and several others reviewed recently, he is achieving this project in quite a successful manner. The Mysterious Guitar is subtitled A Modern Suite for Guitar and has altogether nine movements. Each movement has a descriptive title and most of them to the expectations conjured by the name, hence The Woods So Dark has an ominous presence: The Stratosphere gives an ‘other-worldly’ impression; Mysterious Journey is… just that (shades of the Swiss composer, Frank Martin in this movement) and so on. Eugène den Hoed obtains many of the effects by utilising one of the guitar’s most useful features, the campanella: this overlapping of notes seems a particular characteristic of this composer and one he uses to good effect. As stated earlier, Eugène den Hoed has recently set out to compose student guitar pieces in a ‘modern’ mode without becoming too avant-garde and with The Mysterious Guitar suite he has produced an attractive, interesting, stylish and relatively sizeable piece. For any student of around the Grades 5-6 mark wanting to try something substantial and musically adventurous, this is well worth considering. Steve Marsh Classical Guitar, october 2008

14 Mignonnettes

14 MIGNONNETTES for solo guitar by Eugène den Hoed Muziekuitgeverij Iduna 0V. l4pp.

 Continuing in his quest to write interesting contemporary guitar music for the lower-intermediate student, Dutch guitarist Eugène den Hoed has here produced a collection of short works aimed slightly below the technical standard he has been producing recently, this one geared more towards the grades 3-4 player. There are 14 pieces in total all given descriptive titles to capture the imagination of the player and are brief, individual, stand-alone works as opposed to his recent publications which were full-scale and relatively lengthy guitar compositions – a ‘Suite’ and a ‘Sonatina’ (Sonatina Ostinato), hommage à Leo Brouwer). With Mignonnettes den Hoed has kept to a more traditional method of composition with the majority of the pieces being tonal in character. A fairly comprehensive range of keys and rhythms are covered and for the standard Hoed is aiming at, these could provide a pleasant supplement in the student teaching material catalogue. Steve Marsh – Classical Guitar, october 2008 

Evocations for guitar 1 – 6

EVOCATIONS 1-6

by Eugène Den Hoed. Muziekuitgeverij Iduna V.O.F. 24pp. Subtitled Six Impressionistic Pieces these enterprising items are graded 5-6. They are eminently accessible and yet are written in an unusually harmonised style that succeed in sounding quite original and do not rely on hackneyed guitaristic figurations so prevalent in some compositions. They do not have any sub-titles and are merely numbered 1-6 but are quite substantial in size. In general the whole set which amounts to nearly 25 minutes of music uses figurations that are eminently playable. Interesting to see and hear and yet quite individual. The music is charming and like little else that I have tried before yet isn’t modern enough to scare your granny. Nicely printed, this volume was a refreshing change from some music one gets to see and hear. Chris Dumigan – Classical Guitar, march 2007