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Javier Farias  : 5 Concert Etudes : Doberman – Yppan

Javier Farias

Doberman – Yppan : 15 pages


Composer Farias has here produced 5 of the most complex studies I have ever seen. They make the Villas – Lobos studies seem like beginner’s material, for example.

No1 is in 12/8 and at a dotted crotchet of 152, really moves. It is entirely written in quavers that constantly flow up and down the fingerboard but in note patterns that you will not have seen before. The harmony is modern for the greatest part of the time and so you almost certainly can’t rely on knowing where you’ll be going next, because you won’t!

Likewise No2 , a 4/4 piece entirely in semi – quaver quintuplets that again flow entirely up and down the arpeggio, is a piece that will prove very difficult indeed to make flow successfully, but then again, that is why it is an Etude!

No3 is the slowest of the bunch, and consists of large chords not to be spread at all, except when told to in bars 10 and 11, where the four chords ARE arpeggiated.

No4 has a semi-quaver melody, repeated in tremolo style, while a 3 or 4 note chord is held underneath. The harmony is again much unexpected throughout and so the constant use of sharps, flats and naturals all over the music will create a few difficult moments here too.

The final No5 is in mostly in 5/8 and 12/16, with occasional bars of 3 /4 and 6/8 and is at the very fast speed of 216 quavers a minute, and as the majority of the piece is written in semi- quavers you will see that this is very similar in the way it is always on the move, going up and down in similar patterns, but ones that you will mostly not have seen before.

The difficulty factor is immense, the music itself is almost entirely full of patterns, rather than any recognizable melodies, and the chord progressions (usually in arpeggios) really individual to this writer, for the most part and therefore if you want a set of technical exercises that will definitely give you plenty to work on, this set might be right up your street. However if you are looking for pieces that will have an intriguing melody, and something that will attract listeners to the, this might NOT be the set you want.


Chris Dumigan


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