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Annette Kruisbrink : Salon Music for guitar by Women Composers : DOz

12 pieces by Julia Piston, Julie Fondard; Madame Knoop (Dolores Nevares de Goni); Angiolina Panormo Huerta; Madame Sidney Pratten ( Catharina Josepha Pelzer); Susan C.Domett; Elba Rodriguez Arenas; Lisanella Gentili; Caroline Vassa Hayden; Annie K.Pfund; Adela del Valle, and Annette Kruisbrink

Annette Kruisbrink : Research, transcription, revision, fingering and layout

Les Productions D’Oz: 31 pages (contents include a CD of entire book)

This follows on from a previous book from Annette Kruisbrink, Guitar Music by Women Composers (DZ 1335) and , in the words of the Preface, contains a selection of salon music by women from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which were all original guitar works. There is after that a fascinating four pages of just about everything that Annette Kruisbrink has been able to discover about these ladies, with some information about one or two of these composers not amounting to very much, as they appear to have almost vanished into history. Most of these ladies are completely new to me, as they may well be to you, and so the subject itself is fascinating to read and play.

That however is not to say that all of it is fabulous music, for some of it is very predictable, but that doesn’t take away the wonderful detail that we find about these women, and how interesting it is to actually try out these pieces.

So we find Deux Sauteuses by Julia Piston, a French composer/performer (ca 1800 – 1842)which are tiny, light pieces both in 6/8 , the first harmonised largely in 3rds in D Major, the second again in 6/8 in G Major.Then there is a Valse Suisse No2 by Julie Fondard (1819 – 1864) who was a guitarist/ singer/ composer/teacher/music engraver, and publisher. This piece bounces along in a very happy way, and a good technique is required here, as you are frequently meant to dive from the open position up to fret 9 or 10, and instantly return to do a similar move again, not easy, but quite a fun piece. Madame Knoop, or Dolores Nevares de Goni , as she was known (1813 – 1892) was a Spanish guitarist/ composer/ performer whose piece The Adieu , with a 5th string to G and a 6th to D is included here. A Tempo di Minuetto set in G Major, and in its middle section C Major, it is a melody largely made up of 3rds or 6ths and bounces along in a friendly fashion, and is nice to play. The Andante and Allegretto by Angiolina Panormo Huerta (1811-1900), daughter of the famous guitar maker Louis Panormo, and born in London is a brief but enjoyable little pair of pieces (joined seamlessly together) that have a melody that requires careful gliding up the fingerboard at times, but apart from that it is not too difficult, and is a pleasant few minutes. The book ends with two pieces by the well – known guitarist Annette Kruisbrink, who is the lady behind this volume, and whose works here are a fine closing selection to this book.

There are too many pieces in the book here, to mention each one but suffice it to say that there are not any completely original voices here, but rather a group of very friendly works that are a nice to get your fingers around, and can ,in a few cases, be quite difficult, so are good for the technique, and therefore I can see that many players will enjoy this nicely presented book.

Chris Dumigan

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