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Alfonso Montes : Arrullo for 2 guitars : Doberman – Yppan



Alfonso Montes

Doberman – Yppan: Score and separate parts: (11, 4, and 7 pages respectively)

Alfonso Montes and his wife Irina Kircher are well known in the guitar fraternity, especially as the Duo Montes – Kircher who have been performing together for 40 years this year.

This Arrullo is a Lullaby but can also imply cooing, and the sounds of the sea, the wind and the rain, and are all included in this little 5 minute duo. Interestingly it was originally written as a solo, which is the 2nd Guitar part in the score, before friends suggested he should put another par to it, which is the first guitar part in the score.

Having heard the piece as a duo, and performed by Montes – Kircher on YouTube, I would say that a significant amount of interest is added to the piece when performed this way.

It begins in 6/8 but actually in a mixture in both parts of 3 / 4 and 6/8, a common feature of course of Latin – American music. The opening section (in Am) relies on a sort of repetition that needs careful attention to avoid it sounding too similar for too long a time as in true lullaby fashion , the music backwards and forwards and this can sound a little lacking in variety. After the opening section an E Major section enters where the accompanying guitar 1 has a continuous bunch of artificial harmonic crotchets whilst the other guitar plays a low melody, underneath more rocking open 2nds and 1sts that again continue for a considerable time.

The opening section re- enters before a new idea in G major takes over that is more chordal in concept , ending with some rasgueado chords, and a final return to the Am opening , now topped by octave Es and eventually turning entirely into harmonic octave Es topped by percussive effects in the 2nd guitar, which is where the piece ends.

I have to say that this piece didn’t really get me too involved. I, and my duet partner, found it a little dull, unfortunately, and as I said before rather too repetitive for too long a time, to really get my musical juices flowing. But that is only my humble opinion and you might very well totally disagree with me on that.


Chris Dumigan


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