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ProduitsPartitions pour guitareGuitare seuleLa Folia Folio

La Folia Folio
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La Folia Folio

Compositeur: JOHANSON Bryan

Arrangeur: KOONCE Frank

DZ 1143


ISBN: 978-2-89655-042-5

Guitare seule

16 p.


Originally a raucous dance from Portugal played out on tambourines and various other instruments by women wearing masks and men dressed like women, by the 17th century the Folia had attained certain musical characteristics for which it became universally identified with, these features being that it was performed in a minor key, usually D minor, and following a standard chord progression. This progression has been used extensively over the centuries in various instrumentations by the likes of Lully, Marais, Corelli, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, C. P. E. Bach and of course for guitar by Sor, Giuliani, Sanz and Manuel Ponce whose composition Theme, 20 Variations and Fugue sur «Folias de Espana« remains one of the longest single-movement compositions for classical guitar.
The American guitarist/composer Bryan Johanson received a commission from Harold Micay (of the Canadian Guitar Trio) to compose a substantial work which, as he puts it, he could «splash around in«. Using the Folia harmonic progression as a framework Johanson has gone ten variations more than Ponce did and written 30 variations on this «theme«.
A multiplicity of textures and guitar techniques have been employed throughout this composition using an array of technical features including percussive slap, golpe, multiple slurs, pizzicato, extended trills, «Bartok« pizz., rasgueado, muted strings and «bent« harmonics. At times the original basis for a particular variation can seem quite veiled but after a bit/quite a lot of practice and the proper tempo attained, it emerges. The wonderfully percussive, latin-flavoured first five variations aside, it seems that the composer has reserved the best until last where, from Variation 23 onwards the Writing takes a definite raise in standards although this is not to disparage the previous sets which are indeed very well written and hold the interest.
At probably around the ten-minute mark in length, this is a rewarding, highly entertaining and substantial new addition to the solo guitar repertoire. It certainly deserves to receive high exposure and anyone of a high technical standard wishing to enlarge their repertoire should take a look at this wonderful work. If you want to hear it beforehand, Michael Partington has recorded the piece on his CD 20th Century Guitar - vol. 2.
This edition is part of «The Frank Koonce Series« and the presentation is excellent, with a most attractive front cover, clear printing and well fingered.
Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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