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Konstantin Bliokh : Quartet Op31 for 4 guitars : DOz



Konstantin Bliokh

Les Productions D’Oz: Score and separate parts (8, 4, 4, 2 and 2 pages respectively)


Having just reviewed another piece by this composer for 4 guitars, I eagerly started this review. This piece is in one short (4 minutes) movement and is a totally different kettle of fish to Khorovod. This work apparently began life with the ideas that the four players each have their own voice, and the piece therefore is based on their coexistence, and interaction when stating their individual motifs., an interesting idea you may think.

So guitar one, which only begins at bar 8 consists of pairs of notes, often slightly off – key and deliberately unconventional when placed next to one another. Guitar 2 that opens the work does so with a pair of minor seconds that clash and crunch their way through the opening. The third guitar part is based on a couple of two note pairs that never change in the opening, whilst the final guitar has a low voiced, deliberately clashing as it progresses. These four motifs are at a Largo speed, and in the first 25 bars just seem to continue without reference to each other. Then at bar 26, an Allegro intervenes with a mixture of 4/4 and 3 / 4 with guitar 1 opening the section with am off beat semi – quaver idea that revolves around and around before guitar 4 comes in with some deliberately clashing chords, whilst guitar 3 now jumps around with a pair of minor seconds in quite different ranges. After guitar 2 then enters at bar 34, everything escalates in power and tension as the harmonies now clang and bang against one another as the note rhythms get shorter and shorter. At the climactic moment, an Adagio Religioso takes over, which turns out to be the opening idea, now varied slightly as it continues This time however, there is no other intervention, and the separate motifs make their way to the coda , where the piece closes on clashing notes and chords.

If you like your music edgy and full of tension then this piece will perhaps be absolutely what you want to play. It isn’t terribly difficult to get your fingers around, so decent players who like this style of writing will perhaps get a great deal from it.


Chris Dumigan

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