• chrisdumigan

Eddie Healy : Five Miniatures for the play ‘Two To Waken Him’ for solo guitar


Eddie Healy

D’Oz: 8 pages


I have come across this American writer’s music before, and a quick glance at his oeuvre on the internet shows a writer steeped in both the guitar and the theatre.

Here he has produced 5 solos from the music he wrote for a play by Gary Swaim, that I could find almost nothing about on the internet. Maybe a note about the play and the context these pieces find themselves might have been useful as there is nothing to explain anything about these little solos which I can only say are tonal but often unusual in the sense that, without the context, one could find them a little vague in what they’re trying to convey.

The set begins with Toccata, subtitled ‘for Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor’. The piece is indeed in Dm and has lots of Bachian traits without actually quoting any part note for note. There is a Quasi Fughetta and even an Alla Marcia towards the end before a Meno Mosso revives the theme in a slower context.

Maria is marked Cantabile and is a pleasant piece with warm harmonies marked to be played with lots of rhythmic freedom. The second portion of this 33 bar miniature is mostly chord driven and seems to have no thematic connection to the opening theme. Rather it reaches its close, and stops unexpectedly on a slightly indefinite arpeggiated chord.

Scherzo, marked ‘for Beethoven’s String Quartet No14, 2nd Movement’ is an Allegro in D Major, although throughout the piece’s 24 bars, it moves frequently out of the home key. There are quite a few moments where again one cannot really see why certain elements happen, other than it’s a scherzo and therefore the ‘joke ‘element comes in, for example 2 bars of pizzicato that end on a D/C# crunch, or the final coda where an almost bluesy slide from an E# to an F# ends on a D chord with a foreign Eb in the middle. Incidentally, I couldn’t find any connection between this movement and the Beethoven.

Maria’s Waltz is a quirky but pleasing little piece with some swiftly moving parts and the need to react quickly in a few places to avoid any unwanted pauses.

The final Hymn : ‘’ Ah, The Music…’’ is an Adagio piece based in chords for the most part, and pleasant but again at 15 bars in total , is a little uninvolving just as it stands.

I don’t quite know how to summarize this little set except to say that perhaps you have to see the play, and hear these in context, to appreciate their musical importance therein, but as separate solo entities, I’m not convinced how successfully they all work, because if you played these in a concert, I think you might leave the audience a little puzzled. That said the quirkiness that is rife throughout them all is fine as far as that goes, but you might have to try these out for yourself to make your own mind up about them.

Chris Dumigan

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