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The Philosopher and the Fly
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The Philosopher and the Fly

Compositeur: JOHANSON Bryan

DZ 2101


ISBN: 978-2-89737-018-3

Guitare seule

8 p.


"As with a number of Johanson's other works, this latest piece has a story behind it that influenced the writing. This one involves the philosopher /mathematician René Descartes and a story about him being ill in bed and having a fly buzzing around him. The piece is divided into two movements; the first A Philosopher's Song is, like so many of his other pieces, barred yet without a time Signature. It is marked 'Larghetto' but has numerous very fast areas, that make a slow sounding speed, almost irrelevant. The language in this is noticeably more modern than previous works and one finds many places where the harmonies are unusual to say the least. It goes through a number of sections including a couple where you are alternating notes on string one with harmonics on string two, definitely not an easy ride. The second movement From the Diary of a Fly is supposed to be the same timeframe as the first piece but from the perspective of the fly. It is first of all, exceedingly fast, written as it is in semi and demisemiquavers throughout. Secondly it often worries around the same sequence of notes (as a fly would) and this makes for a very tricky time when trying to negotiate it on the fingerboard. The climax of the piece comes when, as the composer explains in his Preface, the fly eventually lands on the philosopher's notebook he is using. The finality of the Bartok pizzicato on the low E string is enough to tell you what happens then! A highly technical workout, this piece is far from immediate, and extremely tricky to successfully bring off, but it is now becoming clear, after several pieces from this composer, that here is a writer with a truly original way of writing and thinking and one can only applaud his musical skills."

Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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