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Atanas Ourkouzounov : Pesen & Tanz: Doberman – Yppan

Atanas Ourkouzounov

Doberman – Yppan : 8 pages

Here is another piece from this prolific Bulgarian composer/performer (he has written over 80 works for guitar in all manner of mixtures of instruments) and got over 50 CDs of his music performed by others that are currently available.

This latest work was composed for the 23rd Concours international de Guitare d’Antony, and is in two movements , the first being a slow and delicate affair, with plenty of this man’s musical and very individual moments in it to make it that much different from other composers. So it is set in 7/8, and opens with a large number of quarter tone bends up in what is the opening solo line, mixed in with a considerable number of mordents interlinked with these bends. After this initial introduction of eight bars, the piece continues with a lot of chord writing and often, a moving voice that can be anywhere in the piece, above, below or in the middle of them. The harmonies now become acerbic much of the time, as he takes plenty of chances to produce harmonic clashes whenever he feels them necessary. Therefore although the piece is marked Molto Delicato , and indeed much of it is, there are those times when he lands, for example on a low C#, with a C natural , almost the octave above (bar 17) or bar 18 when a low Bb carries on whilst an open B natural clangs above it, or to give you one more example, the first beat of bar 37 where an Am7 chord , consisting of (from low to high) an open A, an E a fifth above, an open G, a C a fourth above that, topped with an Ab on string one. A lot of people love this sort of writing (as witnessed by the comments on his performance of the piece on YouTube,) and if you do, then great!

The second movement, the dance, is an astonishingly fast 11/8 set at 160 crotchets a minute, with the majority of the music written in quavers .There is a constant flow of very chromatic writing set in a rhythm , that to be fair, I’d have trouble dancing to, and keeping up with it! The difficulty factor for players is really high as the (usually) two voiced writing never sits still for a moment , and flies up and down the fingerboard in what must be one of the most difficult pieces to play I have seen in a while. However, the composer’s performance on YouTube proves most definitely that it is very playable and , providing you have the necessary technique, and like this writer’s musical style then this piece will definitely be right up your street!

Chris Dumigan

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