• chrisdumigan

Atanas Ourkouzounov : Edin’s Sketches



Atanas Ourkouzounov

Doberman- Yppan: 11 pages


Edin Karamazov, who is the dedicatee of this set of three pieces, must be a really fine player, because this is some of the hardest and most difficult music I have ever set eyes on.

Bulgarian Ourkouzounov’s music has been around for a long time, and indeed I have seen quite a few in my reviewing days, and with over 50 CDs of his music available, and over 80 works written for our instrument, the majority of which are published, it is obvious that the man is doing something right, but it remains to say that his music is very individual, and to be honest, not to everyone’s taste, as it can be highly dissonant and only for advanced players.

This latest set begins with an Allegro Malicioso in 11/8, and the 11 beats is varied from 2, 2, 3, 2, and 2 in some bars , to 3, 3, 3, and 2 in a few others , and there are other combinations besides. Then take into account the fact that the two voices of the movement are frequently off the beat, and often moving in unexpected directions and you have something which is very much an advanced piece.

The second movement is a Rubato Melancolico with a number of time signatures such as 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4 and 10/8 and again a highly complex set of harmonies and rhythms, and also some very large stretches for the left hand , for example in bar one there is a 2nd finger on fret 7 of the 4th string , 4th finger on string 3 fret 10, 3rd finger on string 2 fret 8 and the first finger on string 1 fret 5 . Ouch!

The final movement is a supremely fast 7/8 Presto Preciso at 186 crotchets a minute, with most of the notation being in quavers, although nearly all the writing is single line here.

There is a YouTube performance by the composer of the entire work to watch, but the sound and picture go hugely out of sync in the last movement, although it is still sufficient to give the prospective player an idea of what the piece actually entails.

This man’s music is very individual but to any players able to cope with the work’s intense demands, give it a listen on YouTube first, and then you will see exactly how the piece is meant to be played, because the composer really does a fantastic job of playing it.


Chris Dumigan

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