Muziekuitgeverij Iduna 0115 28 pp.
First-rate music that is exceedingly playable, always entertaining
Over the years I have seen a substantial amount of this wonderful composer’s
guitar music. Unlike many of his peers, he is completely successful writing very easy material (which is actually surprisingly difficult), intermediate pieces, and very difficult ones. Remarkably, I never feel that he sacrifices his musical ethics writing easy material, and he always retains an individual style that is complet-ly recognizable from the outset.
This latest book consists of ten moderately difficult pieces subtitled “Impressions for Guitar in Different Styles.” It’s difficult to describe his way of writing. It often uses almost modal harmonies, with a penchant for open strings mixed in very naturally with fretted notes in a way that makes it slightly unusual, but perfectly acceptable and pleasant harmonically speaking. You never really know exactly where the harmonies are going to land, and the surprise factor is often quite high. So, “Rondo” is marked con moto in a natural mix of three and four beats in a bar, with plenty of hammer-0ns in an almost folk-like way. Then there is “Another Point of View,” in 8/8—grouped usually, but not always in a 3 +2 + 3 way—marked animato, which really keeps you guessing. There’s a brooding andante titled “Maquiaria” and the perhaps jazz-influenced “In a Mellow Taste,” plus many more.
This man’s music is unfailingly first-rate, exceedingly playable, always entertaining, and gets your musical muscles working on high alert throughout. If you’re not familiar with him, take my word for it and give him a try—you won’t be disappointed!
-Chris Dumigan, Classical Guitar Magazine