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ProduitsPartitions pour guitare2 guitaresImpressions

  • Valse

  • Saltarello

  • Spring Fair

  • Gavot

  • Seascape

  • Country Ramble


Compositeur: HOUGHTON Mark

DZ 675


ISBN: 2-89500-561-3

2 guitares

16 p. + parties séparées


Here is a set of six moderately difficult pieces each with a separate dedication to a well-known composer.
The set opens up with a Valse dedicated to Satie which starts off with an accompanying line similar in vein to the Gymnopedies. There the similarity ends, as this is not a slavish copy of Satie's style at all, just a mere doffing of the cap towards the great man. The parts cross and re-cross so that no one player gets the accompaniment for too long. The brisk Saltarello that follows (dedicated to Stepan Rak) is excitingly fast and unpredictable in some of its harmonies, and a nice contrast to the first piece. Spring Fair, which is Houghton's homage to Percy Grainger has a delightfully unexpected way with its harmonies, so that although you think you have it worked out, it surprises you by changing tack and moving into another key altogether. In that sense it reminded me a little of some of Lennox Berkeley's piano pieces that share that same surprise factor. Houghton's movement is an Allegretto with a lilting melody that one can't forget, and plenty of interesting details to keep one's attention. The fourth piece is a Gavot, the dedicatee of which is Handel, but again there is no attempt at repeating the man's style here either. The main factor once again, is the unusual quality of the harmonic work that just refuses to go where you think it ought to. A Seascape (dedicated to Chopin) has a broad sweeping melody marked unsurprisingly Maestoso. A Poco animato middle section relies on unusual string indications to create gently clashing harmonies in its broken arpeggios before there is a return to the opening idea. The final piece is A Country Ramble dedicated to Arnold Bax. This is an Allegretto 6/8 movement which rocks gently along in A major but which inevitably gets rather modal along the way and which comes to a satisfyingly final conclusion.
The musical style is unusual but completely tonal all the way and very English. There is a lot of modality in the writing and moreover plenty of places where the harmonies just don't do what you expect; indeed, the whole set is very cleverly done. Anyone wanting a very English sounding set, which is of intermediate difficulty only, would find a lot to enjoy in this fine publication.
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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