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Dusan Bogdanovic : Folia Variations : Doberman- Yppan

Dusan Bogdanovic

Doberman – Yppan : 8 pages

Daniela Rossi is the dedicatee of this latest work by prolific composer Bogdanovic, based on the famous Folia, as previously done by Manuel Ponce many decades ago, and various other writers besides.

This latest one has all the characteristics of this writer’s work, the many one being the huge complexity of the rhythmic patterns in the various voices. It is only a short piece of 4 + minutes, but in that short space, just about every combination of different rhythms is here in this piece. Written to be played with the 3rd string to F#, one might expect various Renaissance ideas to come to the fore, as this tuning is so often used when playing lute pieces from the Renaissance on the guitar, but that is definitely not the case, but more because from the very start the F# open 3rd is made to clash with the G a semi-tone up on string 4, to create a gentle ‘crunch’. Written in 6/4 for the most part, with occasional bars of 2/4, 4/4 and 3 /4, one is almost immediately being instructed to play 3 and sometimes 4 voices at rhythmic odds to one another. At first it is merely one or more voices on the offbeat, so that a really good inner beat in your head is absolutely necessary but soon you are playing several quintuplets against straight rhythms, several 3s against 2s, and then 4s against 3s, etc., until the page looks extremely complex to get one’s fingers around. Moreover as the piece progresses the notes get shorter and shorter until nearly everything you play is a constant flow of semi – quavers flying around the fingerboard. It is only at the very end, does the music calm down and give the player a bit of breathing space.

Having said that however, Daniela Rossi has done an absolutely superb performance on YouTube, which interested players (with a wonderful technique, it has to be said) would do well to have a listen to.

It has to be said that this writer’s work is like no one else’s I have ever seen or heard and if the way he writes is completely up your street, then you will love this very complex work for our guitar.

Chris Dumigan

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