Juan Erena : Tornado
Bergmann Edition: 14 pages
Juan Erena Marmol, born 1970 in Jaen , Spain is a new composer to me but he has written much for the guitar and has been played worldwide, which only proves how much really good music is around that players may not have come across before, because this piece is a whirlwind from start to finish, and extremely exciting to see and hear.(The dedicatee Sergio Calero has done a fantastic performance on YouTube).
It begins with an unusual arpeggiated pattern consisting of semi-quavers at an Allegro of 120 crotchets a minute that repeats in various slightly different places whilst topped by some single notes, all of which has the effect of sounding very restless, very animated, and unsettling at the same time. Keeping this unusual pattern going is initially very tricky as it literally goes where you don’t expect it to, and thus aptly fitting into the reasoning behind the title of the piece. After a repeat of this first section, an Agitato heralds in a new idea , still based on semi – quaver motion, but perhaps less unexpected in its design, underpinned by a crotchet melody bass. At the close of this idea, there are a number of time signature changes, and then a repeat of the Agitato idea, varied at this point, leading into a new theme, however still as restless and agitated as the opening theme. One’s dexterity has to be superb throughout this entire piece by the way, so beware! The momentum and pressure is never allowed to let up, even when new ideas occur, an so there is a continuous flow of new themes all racing around over all the strings and up and down the entire fingerboard. Eventually this leads to a Piu Mosso and after that to a brief reiteration of the opening theme, which races headlong into the coda, and a final slam- bang chord that glissandos down the fingerboard, fortissimo, and it is all over.
The player that can play this piece in concert will be in control of a fascinatingly emotional piece of writing that is certain to give any audience a great time. It is quite different from any piece I have come across before, yet remaining tonal, if from a slightly unusual angle at times. Nevertheless this is a great piece for any advanced player.