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ProduitsPartitions pour guitareGuitare seuleSuite of Miniatures

Suite of Miniatures

Suite of Miniatures

Compositeur: ZOHN Andrew

DZ 1188


ISBN: 978-2-89655-087-6

Guitare seule

12 p.


To call this a suite of miniatures is a little misleading for although the five movements are relatively short, they are certainly not small in design; the musical ideas within are quite serious and imaginatively developed.
The opening Prelude is typical of the compositional way of thinking throughout this entire set. The first idea begins on a form of altered E minor chord made up almost entirely of fourths. The composer then proceeds to move many of the notes either up or down one or two notes in a form of contrary motion, a practice he continues doing throughout the first section almost as if he discovered it as a happy accident and wanted to see what would happen if he did. Beats of fours and threes interweave to complete the slightly dislocated feel of it all. After a momentary pause a new idea emerges following almost the same musical restraints. So the top melody largely moves around a step at a time, whilst harmonies underneath also move a step at a time thus creating some unexpected harmonies as a result. The composer seems to be taking a particular idea and quasi-improvising, to see where the whole thing lands. The resulting Andante is very tense and almost disturbing.
Syncopato follows and again adopts a pattern established at the outset, which is varied and harmonically altered without losing the basic idea of a syncopated bass line melody underneath a repeating two-note chord accompaniment.
Vals Venezolano relies almost entirely on the semi-tonal rocking back and forth in the main melodic idea, over a very recognisable almost Lauro-like structure in E minor. Again the dissonances created by this process add tension to the whole Vals, and even the slightly contrasted middle section repeats the semi-tonal rocking phrase straight from the opening idea.
Le Scale, after a four bar intro settles down into a repeated two-note lower voice topped by a gradually rising semi-tonal scale idea, hence the title one assumes. Halfway through the scale moves to the bottom voice and remains there for much of the piece, which ends on a variant of the opening intro idea.
The final Ritmico runs around using a separated pair of fourths as the main melodic interest over a syncopated bass E pedal. The fourths run from the top to the bottom of the fingerboard and continue until a new idea, more chordal in content takes over. This seems to be breaking free of the repeated cell idea, until the melody lands on a four-note phrase that then chases its tail and repeats twice more, until the end of the section where it repeats over and over. It then links itself to the opening idea once again for a final repeat of the opening section and a quick chordal flourish and a fortissimo end.
I was intrigued by Zohn's compositional idea of finding a cell of notes or a particular phrase and worrying at it in a number of different ways to see what harmonic possibilities occur. It was a process that I enjoyed from start to finish as I was wondering how it was all going to continue.«
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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