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Mersey Partita

Mersey Partita

Compositeur: HOUGHTON Mark

DZ 1122


ISBN: 978-2-89655-021-0

Guitare seule

24 p.


1. Prelude
2. From Woodside
3. Liverpool Echo
4. Nerys-Scherzo
5. Memories of the «Mystery«
6. Oriental Octaves
7. New Day Dawning
8. A Scouse Joke

This is an eight-movement homage to the composer's home city, which received its premiere at the Wirral Festival in November 2008 with Stanley Yates doing the performing honours. The "Prelude" is a Homage to the Heritage Market and is in an amiable A major/minor with lots of hustle and bustle depicting the shoppers. It reminded me a little of Ponce's Sonatina Meridional in its harmonic language. The second movement "From Woodside" is largely in a friendly 7/4 with occasional 8/4s and 3/2s also. A pleasant idea set in sixths over a low D bass is the main idea. It is quite brief and befits its dolce marking. Third comes "Liverpool Echo", a Homage to the Toxteth Carnival, set in a reggae style, with lots of stop-go staccato chords underpinned by a friendly melody set in E minor. "Nerys-Scherzo" is next; a delightfully cheeky homage to Nerys Hughes from the famous Liver Birds programme. Its marking of "playful" is very apt. There are also a couple of wonderful harmonic moments where an unexpected and almost indefinable chord suddenly lands you in foreign territory, only for you to find your way back almost as effortlessly. Great fun. No.5 is "Memories of the 'Mystery'", Homage to Wavertree Park; apparently to do with fond memories of the composer's childhood although I am not quite sure what the "Mystery" refers to; it is a haunting and nostalgic little melody over some deliberately evocative harmonies. In the next movement "Oriental Octaves", Homage to Our Chinatown, Houghton has thankfully refrained from the archetypical fourths a lesser writer might have resorted to, and manages to convey the piece's inherent orientalism by other more sophisticated means, and is another standout piece. "New Day Dawning", Homage to Sefton Park is a beguiling little tune with a great bouncy rhythm that is a lot easier to play than you first think! This is one of the best little pieces in the set. The final movement is "A Scouse Joke", Homage to the Lambanana Statue and is a frenetic and often harmonically-acidic waltz that pokes fun at the rather bizarre statue that has been touting all over Liverpool and indeed other parts of the world promoting all things Liverpudlian. It is perhaps the hardest in the set and a fitting end to this remarkably fine suite of character pieces. Nothing is too difficult and there is much fun to be gained by trying this nice set out. It has a lot to commend it and is excellently laid out and printed.

Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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