Kevin Cooper : Precious Stones for four guitars
Doberman- Yppan: Score and separate parts (12, 4, 3, 4, and 3 pages respectively)
This Californian guitarist has his guitaristic fingers in many musical pies and is particularly taken with the extremes of modern music and almost equally early music, as his many recordings and live performances attest to.
This latest quartet is one modest sized movement that is very much in the Spanish style, having many of the elements of the flamenco harmonies in it. So , for example it begins on a crochet E chord with that run of E, F, E, D underneath in semi – quavers, whilst other shapes such as the F Major 7th , the Golpe followed by strummed full E chords, and other such elements that you might already recognize. There are , in –between these, various melodies that interweave their way around, and then at bar 61 the other recognizable flamenco chord sequence of Am, G, F, and then E, repeated over a sequence of arpeggios in two guitars , and long – held notes on the other two players. At letter C on the score 3 players move to Pizzicato whilst the fourth plays a long noted melody before at letter D onwards the original style returns , and even in one place on guitar 4 , the music reverts to just a chord name , to be played , as a strum, rather than signifying which notes are actually to be used. Finally the opening flourish returns and everything closes fortissimo on some repeated E chords.
Whereas this was quite a pleasant piece as far as it went, it was a little too cliché – driven for my liking, although I am sure that played in the right context and audience this would be entertaining. Players have to be intermediate as nothing was too difficult for the decent guitarists amongst you.