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Bernard Piris  : Deux Rencontres : 1. Un Jour for guitar ensemble : DOz

Bernard Piris

Les Productions D’Oz: Score and Separate Parts ( 14, 4, 4, 4, 4, and 4 pages respectively)

This French composer/guitarist has written a number of fine works for the guitar, and this latest piece is the first of two under the title of Deux Rencontres, written for a guitar ensemble in five parts, all ordinary guitars, no bass, or soprano or the suchlike.It is immediately obvious that this is not very easy, and so an intermediately advanced set of players are needed, as no one part is any easier than another here.

It begins in 6/8 in A Major with guitar 2 playing a continuous three note motto in semi – quavers, fingered so that all the three notes clash against one another. Then guitar 4 plays a tambora chord, followed by guitars 1 and 5, the first playing the melody and the 5th part a sort of bass line interwoven with harmonics. Guitar 3 finally enters with a secondary melody  that interweaves with the melody in guitar 1’s part.

After the first 24 bars the key changes to Bm and a mixture of 3 /4, and 3 /8 time and speeds up considerably. Again guitars 1, and 3 continue their 1st and 2nd melodies whilst the other 3 parts now include full chords on the 5th, pairs of bare fifths on guitar 2 and a continuous run of quavers on guitar 4 Gradually the music gets more insistent, and 4/4 and 5/4 bars are added also to the mix of time signatures.

There is a short Andante Cantando that begins after a momentary relaxation of the rhythms. In 4/4 it provides a little break until 10 bars later, a new Teneramente section leads to a pause on an unusual chord in guitar 2, before the final section where the opening ideas return, varied considerably, and everything gradually increases in volume until the final coda where everyone has a final fortissimo four bars.

This is an always interesting piece, full of contrast and with many highlights amongst its music. No, it’s not an easy piece to play but a decent bunch of players should be able to make a fine job of this.


Chris Dumigan

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