Ian Gammie : Nocturne
Corda Music Publications: 8 pages
This work by Gammie immediately strikes you as nothing like the Nocturnes you might be expecting as evidenced by other writers, but rather a dark, deep, often mysterious piece of writing that is a description of a night full of atmosphere, and a constant sense of unease.
Ostensibly in Bm, but with a particular freedom of key that takes you into lots of different places throughout the 2 sharps key signature, this work begins with some carefully placed chords where open strings are in the middle of fretted notes often high up the fingerboard. So this strikes you straight away as feeling completely original in concept like so many of Gammie’s pieces that I have already seen. That open string/fretted notes chordal writing is prevalent throughout the work, and so great care has to be taken to make this piece work correctly, because once you understand just where it is going, the piece acquires a certain feel that is quite original.
As with a lot of his other pieces, tempi fluctuate a number of times throughout the work as do the various melodic ideas, many of which return elsewhere, but not in a pattern that you can straight away put your finger on.
Only 83 bars long, but feeling much longer than that, this is perhaps one of his most complex writings, and one I would love to hear performed, as it is definitely a piece to make you think, and not one of light relief, but a serious piece of writing that deserves to be heard and played.