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Compositeur: CHANDONNET Jacques

DZ 1237


ISBN: 978-2-89655-136-1

Guitare seule

56 p.


The name of Jacques Chandonnet may not be too familiar with the majority of readers. The all-too-brief preface to this edition informs us that he has been involved for over 40 years at l'École de Musique de l'Université Laval and also in the Département de Musique du Cégep de Sainte-Foy in Québec. Some of his few hundred transcriptions for solo, duo, trio and larger ensemble have been published and are used for pedagogical purposes as well as being performed on the concert platform.
The book begins with four «suites«, Suite Dagobert, Tableaux et Portraits, Sentimental and L'Agenda du retraité, being made up of four, six, five and four movements respectively. These are followed by Marche Funèbre, Nocturne and Wendat, all three of which come under the collective title of Triptyque and the collection concludes with Trois Préludes.
For me, these final six works hold the most interest from a musical and technical viewpoint but that is not to say the rest of the compositions are in any way dull; far from it. Stylistically, Chandonnet writes in a romantic fashion, not dissimilar to the manner of Francis Kleynjans and those with a predilection for music with a good melody could do much worse than give these pieces a look at.
There is an occasional more-than-passing reference to other composers/guitarists - Sanz in the first suite, Sabicas and Rodrigo in the second - but this respect all fits in neatly with the surrounding movements and makes for entertaining music.
Technically, to do this music full justice, a standard of higher-Intermediate would be ideal, although there are one or two movements which would not require as high a proficiency as that.
I don't think we're talking concert-platform material here but just nice, agreeable music for home study, amateur concerts; etc. Well worth a look at.
Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)

As with the aforementioned anthology of works by Claude Gagnon, who performed with this author in the Trio Laval at the 1976 and 1979 GFA Festivals, this appears to be a reprinting in one book of several earlier editions. Unlike the Gagnon book, this music is generally more complex in writing and in skill level. Six large, multi-movement works are here. It would be immensely helpful to have some sort of commentary regarding the meaning behind the titles. First comes Suite Dagobert, in four movements: "Chasse," "Ménestral," "Tournoi," "Caprice." The titles and the style all suggest a tribute to some important figure from the Age of Kings, perhaps even King Dagobert of the Merovingians (ruled 623 -639 A.D.), who warrants passing mention in The Da Vinci Code, but anything past that is pure speculation. Next is Tableaux et portraits, with titles that are a good bit easier to decipher: "Sleigh Ride;' "Un canadien errant;' "Gracias Sabicas," "Alla Tedesco," "Crooner;' and "En los Rodrigales." This one is a lot of fun to play, albeit a mite overladen with cliche phrases and riffs. The third suite is Sentimental: "Prelude," "Scherzando," "Elegie;' "Reverie;' and "Valse," It's all self-explanatory from there. Suite number four, L'agenda du retraité, sent me to the Franco-English dictionary again. This equates to The Retiree's Agenda, with movements seemingly titled for the outline of a retirees day. "Wake Up;' "Naptime," "Sleeping," and "The Woman without Grandchildren." This suite ups the technical ante several notches ahead of what the first three required, with much more complex rhythms and denser chordal textures. The last movement opens with a percussive device requiring the right-hand thumb and index to make a dance rhythm on the rosette, before launching into a fairly brisk dance. The final suite is called Triptyque, with movements of "Marche [sic] funebre," "Nocturne;' and "Wendat" (a First Nations tribe living in Quebec province). Again the technical requirements are higher here than for the first three suites, although it would make for an effective recital piece for someone willing to do the counting. Lots of written-out ornamentation here, with cross-rhythms to boot. The anthology closes with a set of Trois Preludes, and a return to something manageable for the student or weekend hobbyist. These are on par with the opening sets, which gives the book a nice arch-effect.

David Norton (Soundboard Magazine)

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