John W. Duarte : English Suite No6 for Flute and Guitar : Doberman – Yppan
John W. Duarte
Doberman – Yppan: Score and separate parts (11, 5, and 7 pages respectively)
A previously unpublished work by John Duarte is always an event, and here we have the 6th of a group of 7 that he composed, each for a different combination of instruments. Interestingly this was originally written for pan flute and guitar, the only difference being that the pan flute can go a little lower than the concert flute, and as it does do in this piece, there are a small number of places where an alternative has been put in as one can see that a concert flute player is much more liable to pick this up than a pan flute player, although there is a recording on YouTube from the dedicatees of the piece Roar Engelberg and Stein – Eric Olsen played on the original Pan Flute (Although I can find a few places in the recording where interestingly they play some different material from the score, including missing out one section completely).The duo requested from Duarte that three folk tunes be placed into the piece, Ding Dong Merrily On High, Bushes and Briars, and Kemp’s Jig, three very different songs from very different musical places, you might think!
The piece is all in one continuous movement, with Lizzie Molloy casting her eyes over the flute part and Mark Houghton editing and fingering the guitar part. After a brief but whirling quaver introduction, Ding Dong Merrily On High comes in on the flute with an interesting two and often three voiced accompaniment from the guitar. Then after one complete playing of the theme in D Major, the piece moves into F major for an almost lute- styled version on the guitar with the flute dancing around it. The melody then passes back to the flute and then suddenly reverts to the original key for a momentary reminder of the theme, before moving into A minor for the entrance of Bushes and Briars, which the guitar gets the first try at. After that opening, the flute then takes over the melody with semi – quaver runs underneath on the guitar. Then the flute gets a solo 10 bars (which is one part that the recording on YouTube omits) before linking back into the opening melody now played for a few bars in the major. This quickly changes back to the minor key for the closing section, leading to a solo on the guitar that moves around and changes into D Major for the final theme, Kemp’s Jig. This bright dancing theme works really well in this format, and the whole final section is excitingly written, leading to a sudden stop where the music seems to be running out of steam, until a final rushing of quavers in both parts leads to a final slam on a D Major chord, and what is a great finish to a wonderful piece of writing from this well – loved composer.
Audiences and duos will love this fun, exhilarating work and therefore I have no hesitation in giving this piece a firm recommendation.