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Dusan Bogdanovic : Rossignol: Doberman - Yppan

Dusan Bogdanovic

Doberman – Yppan: 8 pages

This three – movement work by this Yugoslavian – born composer, is first of all, one of the most difficult pieces I have ever tried to perform on the guitar, not that it is so hard a to be unplayable- far from it, as Daniela Rossi’s stunningly beautiful YouTube performance of it proves (She is the dedicatee of the piece) . However suffice it to say that it will need a wonderful player to get anywhere with its highly original and difficult writing.

The first movement Ballad, is marked Ad Lib, and as Rossi’s performance proves, the often very complex rhythms in this one – pager are to be taken with a pinch of salt, as its slow speed, and ad lib quality make the rhythms as written almost irrelevant, if taken literally. A chord involving fret 19 of the top string, with three other notes below occurs at bar 7, a rarity indeed! The remainder of the first movement is filled with almost jazz orientated chords and an abundance of three against four written in a most individual way.

The second movement Passacaglia is even slower and has a number of harmonic moments that seem to be variations of parts of the opening movement. Again the use of quintuplets, sometimes in multiple voices and septuplets, along with a number of other rhythmic complexities, again filled with a large number of unusually voiced chords and arpeggiated chords make this far from easy. The jazz feel is here too throughout its 32 bars.

The third and final movement an Allegro of 115 minims a minute, when the work is almost entirely full of quaver runs takes the speed factor, and therefore the difficulty factor into a different level entirely. It is written on paper as being in 9/8 but in fact there are so many multiple groups of unusual amounts of quavers in every bar, and often grouped across the bar line, that the actual 9/8 time signature is usually irrelevant. Again Daniela Rossi’s performance is a wonderful thing to observe, but I wonder how many other players could do it justice to the same degree? This is the longest of the three, and a huge climactic close to what is modern but not atonal by any stretch , but however is extremely complex rhythmically, and requires a player of the top level to even attempt to play it as it should be played, as witnessed by Daniela Rossi’s superb version.

Chris Dumigan

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