John W. Duarte :Danserie No2 -Op.87
Updated: Apr 17
John W. Duarte
Doberman-Yppan: 8 pages
This is one of four such Danseries, two solo, one duet and one trio. This latest work is in two movements, and has many of the characteristics that one associates with Duarte, the biting wit, the off – kilter harmonies and of course everything utterly guitaristic from start to finish.
The opening Tango has a lovely crunchy opening with a slippery, semi- tonal melody dropping down underneath some biting harmonies. Nothing is as you might find in other composers, and there are many moments of exaggerated slides, just to give one humorous example, attached as always to the archetypical tango rhythms. It isn’t an easy piece at all, and your knowledge of the fingerboard has to be good and immediate, as you are literally chasing all over the fingerboard, on nearly all the strings throughout the whole movement.
The Tarantella that follows is a Vivo 6/8, and again leaves no place for dithering. It goes right from the outset and doesn’t let up until the final coda. Again the ‘wrong’ notes play an even greater part in this movement, and the difficulty factor as a result of all the dashing around is quite considerable.
As usual this is a work of power and impact and lovers of this man’s pieces will find much to enjoy, although I must be honest and say that I felt, particularly in the Tarantella, that the habit of putting a discordant bass note with the chord above, was a little bit overplayed on this one occasion, but that is just my own opinion; you might think entirely different, and I am certain that this piece will make lots of new friends.