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  • chrisdumigan

Gilbert Isbin : Flute and Guitar Duets : Self – Published

11 original works :

Self Published: Contact : score only ; 41 pages

Here are 11 quite short pieces that , to quote Gilbert Isbin’s own words in the Preface are ‘highly melodic, accessible, and fall into the chamber – jazz meets contemporary classical niche.’ Fair enough .There are a number of performances available on YouTube that do help to give any interested players a decent idea of what the sound world is in these pieces. They are certainly quite individual in sound, and although completely melodic throughout, with very few atonalisms, they sound quite different from any other composer I can think of, for the melodies often dance around going into unusual places and never seem to stop still for a moment.

The guitar part is often a little easier than the flute part, and , for example, in Revelation, where the guitar spends the first 20 bars rocking around in the lower regions of the guitar , on strings 4, 5, and 6, the flute is really moving, and never still for as moment. This makes for a quite different sound that both players will have to work at quite hard to sound correct, for the rhythms being played by both players are frequently at odds with one another.

A contrast is In A Meadow, where the guitar is chord-driven throughout and the melodic flute melody is more thoughtful and relaxed.

Moonlight Raag (it is spelt like that) again has a guitar part that is quite repetitive, staying the same for the first fourteen bars, whilst the flute has a melodic and slightly quirky melody above this. The middle section doubles the speed, and the guitar takes much more of the melodic interest but with everything still sounding utterly different from anything you may have heard before.

Suffice it to say that there is a great deal of variety in all these pieces, and both players have to be considerably talented individually, but moreover really good as a duet to get the best out of these highly interesting and completely different set of pieces.

Chris Dumigan

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