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Eugene Den Hoed: Partita Contemporaine: DOz



Eugene Den Hoed

Les Productions D’Oz: 23 pages

 

If any of the readers of this site have never heard or played any of this Dutch guitarist’s music then they have seriously missed out. I have been playing this man’s guitar pieces for many years now and am happy to say that I have now 41 books of his music. The first thing you notice when you play any of his works is how individual the harmonies and melodies are. They are quite different from anything else you may have seen, and yes, they are always modern in harmony, but never atonal, and never full of ear- splitting dissonances that some players love, and others, including me, hate! What is different about this man’s pieces is that they always fit beautifully under the fingers, and flow so seamlessly when you play them. They are not often easy to play, sometimes far from it, but when you do get to grips with it, it just fits really well on your guitar. Moreover, the combination of notes and chords is very unusual often, but always engrossing in their emotive qualities.

This latest piece is a set of eleven movements that imitate the idea of the Baroque suite, but in a modern way. So, each of the movements is headed as ‘Comme un……’, after which you get a Prelude, a Courante, an Ariette, a Sicilienne, a Sarabande, a Bourree, a Menuet, a Caprice, a pair of Gavottes, numbered I and II, and finally a Gigue, all with a dropped D 6th . Each piece has its own style, but doffing its cap towards the Baroque version as it proceeds. The Prelude has an almost constant quaver movement, split into 2 voices, whilst the Courante is in 6/4 and darts around with the help of hammer – ons and pull – offs. The Ariette is gentle and moves in moderate crotchets, whilst the Sicilienne has a rocking rhythm that has a lovely chord sequence.As for the remainder of the movements, they are all just as interesting and as enjoyable as the first few, and wonderful to play.

This is a book to definitely get hold of, and just enjoy the absolute individuality of this fine guitar composer.

 

Chris Dumigan

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