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  • chrisdumigan

Eugene Den Hoed : Sonatique : DOz

Eugene Den Hoed

Les Productions D’Oz: 12 pages

I have known Eugene Den Hoed’s many pieces for classical guitar for a long time now, and they never disappoint. My own collection is now approaching nearly 40 books of his, and this latest one is every bit as intriguing, effective, guitaristic and still very much in his very individual style that is tonal but in a way that you have never heard before from any other writer. They fall superbly well under the fingers and yet always surprise because you never get the note groupings that you expect. They sometimes remind me of modal harmonies in that you often aren’t aware of what key you are playing in but they are a constant joy in the way they drag the player into his world.

Landscape Sonorities is the opening movement that is an Allegro largely in 6/8, where the main theme ducks and dives around full of hammer – ons and pull – offs, and unexpected notes that you hang on to whilst playing another voice above or below. This is an extensive movement that goes through various themes and a couple of speed changes along the way before a gentle coda on a couple of slightly unusual final chords.

At The Horizon is a Moderato, rather than a truly slow movement, and here the note values themselves are longer, and the music, although still harmonically unusual is more relaxed with the occasional pause in an unexpected harmonic place. A very brief Piu Mosso, leads eventually back to the opening idea and a quasi attacca on the final chord to go straight into the last movement

This last part is The Ostinato Universe, and is by far the hardest of the three, and like its name suggests is based on an ostinato idea that keeps changing and moving around constantly, and with many places where the accidentals are in such a constant flux that the player could be in danger of being caught out several times. This is another extended movement and although you might expect a loud aggressive finish, surprisingly ends on two single long notes played piano.

This is yet another superb piece from this writer. So if you are looking puzzled because you haven’t tried any of his pieces before, let me say that they come in many disguises, some deliberately simple for the less talented players, and everything in between up to the advanced players amongst you, all of them in his very individual harmonic world.

Chris Dumigan

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