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Hermelindo Ruiz Mestre : A Letter To Fear : GFA Spotlight Series :DOz

Hermelindo Ruiz Mestre

Les Productions D’Oz: 7 pages

This latest piece commissioned by the Guitar Foundation of America, is dedicated to Jonathan Shanley, a fine guitarist whose performances can be found in a number of places. There is a rather primitive phone recording of him playing this piece by Hermelindo Ruiz Mestre on YouTube taken from a live performance, which will give you some idea of the way this piece should be played.

The musical language is very modern and the piece begins with a Largo section, that in spite of its speed marking has only a very few moments where the music is actually that slow, because the opening bars are full of very exotic moments, with huge melodic jumps and fast rasgueados intermingled. Nothing is as you might expect and the players amongst you might have to give this section plenty of time to be perfected! Then a slightly faster section enters, but still marked Slow and Static at 64 crotchets a minute, where the theme has a number of off – beat rhythms difficult to achieve at this slow speed. A complex few bars headed Marcato then turns into a Moderato where the rhythms become more pronounced and the difficulty factor is raised a few notches, as the very difficult nature of some of the bars will task many players. Then after a slow arpeggiated chord, there are two bars from the Slow and Static section that lead directly into a final 6 bars of Allegro based largely on material heard before, but instead of the expected climactic finish the rhythm- less run of notes in the final line suddenly die away onto a final pianissimo chord.

This is an unusual piece that has its own sound world, which will delight some and upset others, but whoever plays this piece will have to have a decent technique as its difficulty factor is quite high.

Chris Dumigan

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