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Ravel en novembre
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Ravel en novembre

Composer: VACHEZ Sébastien

DZ 912


ISBN: 2-89500-807-8

4 guitars and violin

12 p. + separated parts


This one-movement piece of just over 70 bars sets out to draw the audience in - a muted tambor and some harmonics define a canvas on which the muted pizzicato violin supports the guitars as a plaintive calling motif is suspended on an open, undulating framework of slow harmonies. Having grabbed the listener's attention, it's not long before the violinist takes to the bow and takes hold of the tune, but the sound is still very restrained. It is pleasing to see that where the music requires an echo effect, there is a clear indication in the score so that the composer's intentions are easily met. All the while, the sound is restfuI and the dissonances in the harmonies are playful rather than painful on the ear.
The composer is confident about taking his motif and developing it, and moving it to the baritone register of the guitar allows the violin to bring textures not normally found on guitar - nifty little trills and ornamented runs that would just sound blurred when played by a guitarist. The interplay between the parts, between the instruments is confidently handled.
A faster centre section is still very much under the fingers and the texture is still light and area - a mild dissonance is tempered by being staccato, and wrapped in arpeggios of notes and harmonies all easy to play. It is over this bubbling accompaniment that the violin breaks free of its shackles and weaves long, sustained notes into a relaxing melody.
There is some novel writing as the piece moves back to a reprise and a rather neat surprise ending.
Complexity? Nothing too demanding from the guitarists - probably a Grade Six quartet could do this justice.
The typesetting is to D'Oz's normal high standards
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)