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Christian Vasseur  : Sonate for solo guitar : Bergmann

Christian Vasseur

Bergmann Edition : 28 pages


Interestingly Christian Vasseur describes himself as guitarist, composer, and an improviser which is how a great deal of this sonata appears to sound, to me at the very least. It is in its own unique sound – world, being emotive, and yet often utterly atonal, without any key structure at all, and indeed full of writing that you will not have witnessed before on the guitar.

The entire 17 minute piece is in one movement with numerous different sections all linked together, with a great deal of structure throughout and yet devoid of any major or minor or other common chords. There is a YouTube recording by Olivier Buyse recorded in 2020 that aptly displays the piece’s individuality. So as an example the piece opens with an unusually voiced arpeggio bar, followed by a semi- tonal run down in the bass, only to be repeated again in a completely different sound  3 more times. Then in seventh position an upward arpeggio consisting of a B over the top of (from low to high) a C, F, A, D, and F#, which then repeats on the 3rd position with entirely the same fingerings and the same arpeggiated pattern shows how the composer’s musical mind works. Indeed, the way that many of the ideas in the Sonata are repeated in a similar fashion with a different chord structure aptly displays the Sonata element of the piece as a whole. The piece is divided into 26 different sections marked from A to Z and many ideas do return throughout the piece, to show the structure in which the piece is written, but just be aware that nothing here is what you will have seen before, and so you have to work really hard to get the music to flow effortlessly.

So, if you are a very good player indeed, ad like your music to sound unique, then this well – written piece might be right up your street!


Chris Dumigan


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