Jean – Marie Raymond : Cuando Brillan Las Estrellas for Bandoneon and Guitar
Jean – Marie Raymond
Les Productions D’Oz: Score and separate parts :( 11, 7 and 7 pages respectively)
Jean – Marie Raymond’s music is always beautifully written, full of evocative melodies and warmly emotional harmonies, and here he has written this for the duo La Luna, consisting of Helena Ruegg , (Bandoneon) and Rob Bangert ( Guitar). This is a combination that is still relatively rare, although one immediately associates the instrument with Astor Piazzolla, as the player that most guitarists will have come across in some way or other.
This latest piece (When the Stars Shine) is written on three staves, as the bandoneon always occupies two in its music, and begins with a solo guitar section marked Preludio Solemne where Raymond creates a very sad but beautiful few bars, before speeding up somewhat into the next section Balada Nostalgica, where the Bandoneon enters, and its two- voiced theme takes over the melody, as the guitar plays an arpeggio accompaniment also set in two voices. So far this has all been in E minor, but then a new tonic major section Serenata casi Feliz, at the same speed as the previous, brightens up the mood momentarily. That does not however last, as the key now changes to C Major, and the speed drops to almost the same as the opening idea, where, this time, the bandoneon is written to accompany the guitar in the opening portion, before swapping back at the key change (into A Major) a little later at Mas Dramatico. The piece closes with an Epilogo at the faster speed that recalls what has happened before and then fades away with a beautiful coda in the opening key of E minor.
With Jean – Marie Raymond, you know you are getting a lovely piece. The harmonies do remind me on occasion of some of Piazzolla’s slower pieces, but then, surely that was intentional! This is a rewarding work, that is not too difficult for the guitar, and I assume also for the bandoneon, but I have no real knowledge of how difficult its part is! Nevertheless this is a smashing work that, if you have this particular line up, you should definitely consider getting this volume.