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Emptying (sonata)

Emptying (sonata)

Compositeur: ELLIAS Roddy

DZ 1018


ISBN: 978-2-89500-904-7

Guitare seule

16 p.,


This is a four-movement work by this Quebec-born composer, which has some very involving music within its pages.
The first Movement, Calm, begins with a modal sounding melody of harmonies knitted in between ordinary notes in a way that makes you immediately sit up and take notice. Time changes are frequent, and include a different time signature for every one of the first eight bars, but don't let that put you off what is an arresting opening. Gradually out of the solo line a passage in sixths over low pedal notes takes over to be replaced by a trickily timed section alternating 9/8 and 4/4. A momentary tremolo idea leads to further exploration of the alternating 9/8 and 4/4 idea which then leads back to the opening solo line for a close on some high harmonies.
Shuffle Boogie is restless and jazzy and deliberately murky in its lugubrious harmonies. It goes at a fairly brisk pace and has some hair-raising moments that are tricky to read but very effective when played, this movement is quite extended and is considerably harder to play than the first as a result. It ends on a climb up the fingerboard via a series of clashing harmonies based around pull-offs to the open string, resulting in a final bang of a chord and an octave A to close.
Chorale is the short one-page third movement, beginning with just one or two notes and then gradually building; collecting notes as it goes until we are left playing block chords of some harmonie intensity that subsequently die away on harmonies.
The final Dancing does just that. Marked at 220-crotchets-a-minute its mostly quaver movement hurls itself around the guitar with various ostinati, occasionally interspersed with some complex jazzy chords for contrast. It is a very tense piece that really builds (a great player would do real justice to this piece!) leading eventually to a coda that firmly reaches the final bar and slams the door right in your face.
Wonderful stuff, modern but not alarmingly so, for everything is utterly approachable. It would require a really good player to give it the performance it truly deserves, but nonetheless this is a remarkable piece of contemporary writing.
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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