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  • chrisdumigan

Isaac Albeniz Arr. Duo Gruber – Maklar : Capricho Catalan and Tango :Doberman - Yppan

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Isaac Albeniz Arr. Duo Gruber – Maklar

Doberman – Yppan: Score and separate Parts (8, 4, and 4 pages respectively)

Albeniz’s piano music has always had a life on our guitar, whether it be solo versions, or duos, or even at times larger ensembles. The trouble is that there are often many on the market at the same time and you can sometimes wonder which to get, or is one better than another?

This latest pair of pieces has been arranged by the talented hands of Christian Gruber and Peter Maklar, whose music I have seen previously. Here they tackle two of Albeniz’ most loved pieces, that at times seem to be more natural on guitar than on the piano, such is their popularity! The famous and gorgeous Capricho Catalan is here set, perhaps surprisingly in Eb, where one might expect D or E? Also the second guitar has their 6th string tuned to a D throughout, so again it makes you wonder at first why not put it all in D? Whatever the reason it works really well in this key as the second guitar often keeps to the rhythmic rocking motif, whilst the first guitar plays the main melody and harmonies. It is a beautiful arrangement and not too difficult for either guitarist.

The Tango is, of course, THAT Tango, namely Op165 No2, and is this time actually in D with the dropped D 6th on guitar 2 .Of course this piece has also had many versions on solo guitar but this has often made it terribly difficult, for many players, whilst this duet version just manages to span the notes and harmonies out onto two players , thus making it much more manageable, and more natural too. It is a fair bit harder than the Capricho, but still very playable and is very carefully fingered throughout so that there can be no misunderstandings.

Altogether this pair of pieces has been superbly arranged, and moderately advanced players will enjoy finally finding versions of them that do actually work well, where you don’t needs a hand span like King Kong to get the notes , and which when played , sound fabulous!

Chris Dumigan

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