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  • chrisdumigan

John Hawkins : Crossings for viola and guitar

John Hawkins

Available from Score 5 pages

This Brighton composer has now written three pieces involving the guitar that I have seen. This five minutes plus piece begins with a loud and dramatic semi tonal con Fuoco idea that recurs throughout the piece. Following that the viola enters with a legato theme that seems to answer the abrupt quality of the guitar’s opening. After another outburst from the guitar the viola’s haunting theme continues now after a few bars accompanied by a riding idea that occurs twice more, rising higher each time. Now the roles reverse and the guitar, with some extra chords plays the main theme while the viola now mostly stays on one repeated note, only occasionally rising and falling swiftly in between the guitars phrases. At an Appassionato the music starts to really heat up and after some six – string chords accompanying the viola’s melody a momentary lull brings in a new agitato 4/4 theme that consists of alternating triplet quavers mixed with straight quavers in both parts, often with the two rhythms fighting against one another on both instruments. This slightly extended idea then leads back to the opening tempo and mood that once more gets suddenly very agitated before finally leading to a momentary lull. Any thought that the piece will end quietly is completely wrong as in the last three bars suddenly accelerate with the return one last time of the semi tonal idea from the opening and a final last two chords on the guitar and a pizzicato on the viola.

Yet again this is a well written piece for two good players in Hawkin’s own individual modern but not atonal language style that I have seen before, and any plyers in such a duo as this would do a lot worse than give this piece a try.

Chris Dumigan

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