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Joyce's Suite
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Joyce's Suite

Compositeur: NARVAEZ José-Luis

DZ 975


ISBN: 978-2-89500-861-3

Guitare seule

8 p.

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he Joyce of the title here is not the composer's great aunt but James Joyce, he of Ulysses fame. This three-movement suite which has dropped D tuning begins with Dedalus, marked Tempo de gigue, it has an invigorating dance feel to it and is somewhat modal in character. The harmonies are surprising but very friendly and it flew along in a mixture of 6/8 and 9/8. A fine opener.
Blackwater begins lento with an improvisatory idea that relies on mixing stopped notes high up the fretboard with adjacent open strings. Glissandi and slurred runs also play an important part. Then the tempo speeds up slightly to introduce a Ballad section which is almost folksinger/songwriter in style which in turn returns to Lento for an entirely new idea replete with semi-tonal crunches off the beat. A brief accelerando and the Ballad/Lento sections are repeated, reaching a Lento coda with again new material, winding down to a hushed final chord.
The final section Gulfstream is marked ritmico but is to all intents and purposes another gigue in all but name, It begins with arpeggio runs up the fingerboard interspersing 6/8 and 3/4 as it does so. Again a certain folk/contemporary acoustic style is what strikes one most about this piece. The music moves swiftly but gratefully over the strings leading shortly to a drone in harmonics (and then by tambora) on an open D chord to an extremely effective scampering melody to a very short run up and down an altered D minor chord, a loud thump on a bottom D and it is all over. I was utterly intrigued by this very individual music. One thing previously not remarked on is the brevity of each section, and the fact that there is little or no development of ideas, for they appear and disappear never to return and the section ends. It gives the music and unusual slant that is not unappealing, just a little strange when you consider it. Technically it is difficult but rewards the patient performer. Nevertheless, a better-than-average work that really deserves to be played and enjoyed by all.
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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