David Alfredo Levi : Suite Chilecito
David Alfredo Levi
Bergmann Edition : 18 pages
Argentinean guitarist David Alfredo Levi writes in a very recognizably South America idiom, full of folkloric rhythms and melodies, and this three - movement suite dedicated to guitarist Edoardo Catemario lasts for between 11 and 12 minutes and requires a superb player to do it full justice .Interestingly there is a live video of the entire suite on YouTube as played by Eduardo Catemario, but there are several places where his playing doesn’t agree with the printed version here!
The guitar has a 6th string to D for the whole suite, and the opening movement begins with an Adagio that begins with a solo line over the low D before turning mysterious with the aid of some strange chords that gradually increase in power until an Allegretto intervenes. The melody in thirds, and then triads is deliberately enigmatic harmonically and soon develops into rasgueado chords atop a thundering bass line .Eventually the Adagio returns, this time harmonized differently yet again, until a Piu Mosso marked misterioso set in large chords full of clashing harmonies, leads back once more to the opening thirds Allegretto that this time ends up as the coda, that closes with a pizzicato run and a final rasgueado chord marked fortissimo.
The middle movement is an Adagio headed CASI, which I take to be the Chilean Appreciation Society International! After a few deliberately oddly harmonized arpeggios that each time climb to a forte at the top, a Tempo de Vidala in 6/8 but also with elements of 3 / 8, takes over full of energy and with plenty of off – beat accents. A momentary section, again marked misterioso, leads into a five bar golpe section where a sonorous chord is used. After a considerable silence the movement closes on a question mark. The final Allegro is in 3 / 8 and has elements of multiple rasgueados , mixed with speedy arpeggios that move around much of the fingerboard, and a final page where a sudden Lento leads to a final race for the finish , a leggiero triplet a semiquaver hurtle up the fingerboard and two final rasgueado Dm chords marked fortissimo.
It is all very excitingly written, and requires a very good player to take it on fully. If I have a criticism then it is at times a little too exuberant, a little too heavy handed with all the rasgueados, and yet not, in my opinion , doing too much emotionally for a 11 minute suite. But that’s just my opinion, and you might think utterly differently, and if you do, then this very exciting suite full of Latin American and Spanish melodies and harmonies will do the job nicely.