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Luc Gueugneau : Pele – Mele Vol 2 : DOz

Luc Gueugneau

Les Productions D’Oz: 15 pages

This is the first book of pieces I have ever seen by this French composer, so I can’t comment on Volume 1 of Pele – Mele!

The eight pieces here are all quite different, reasonably short, moderately difficult only, and all having a unique little touch in their composition that makes them fun and enjoyable to play.

The first , Tudo Bem (It’s all right ) is in the style of a Choro, with plenty of off – beat rhythms and interesting harmonic changes .It is set in A minor, with a tonic Major section in the middle and never goes beyond the seventh fret of string one although the piece is constantly on the move.

Bluesy Interlude is, as you might expect written in straight quavers, with the notification to swing the straight quavers as if they were triplets. Again the melody and style is a little unexpected, so you don’t get the straightforward 12- bar that others might engage in, but something that just keeps you occupied.

Etude Sans Nom is a Tranquillo set of constantly moving quavers atop long – held bass notes, and has some effective position work and again moves from major to minor.

Turlough, is a lot of fun. Named, no doubt, after O’Carolan, this is an Irish – styled gigue that really moves and is tricky to play at the correct speed, but worth the effort it might take to get it there!

Espiegle Menuet (Playful Minuet) is exactly what it says, for its melody leaps around with an occasional surprise set of harmonies every so often that you really are not expecting. Again the individuality of this composer shines out.

Magic River is a 6/8 Allegretto with a dance – like feel to it, mostly in two voices and has a number of rhythmic subtleties that cross between the two voices keeping any player quite busy at the required speed.

Coricancha at 150 crotchets a minute is the fastest moving piece here. Named after a famous Inca temple this piece is full of staccato notes .It begins in two voices and then is filled out with loudly accented chords on each bar. After a brief rallentando, the opening structure returns and leads to a coda where the last four bars slow down bit by bit leading to a final quiet conclusion.

The final piece Lo Shen is an oriental styled set of mostly semi – quavers in 2 and occasionally 3 voices that race around the fingerboard full of hammer – ons and pull- offs. After a repeat, chords intervene on the first beat of every bar to stress the strong accent there, and then pairs of fourths enter the picture, as they hammer – on and slide around. The opening section returns for one final repeat and the piece ends quietly.

Every one of these pieces is a lot of fun to play, and every one is a little different from the norm, in one way or another. I can see decent players getting a lot of enjoyment from these, and also teachers using them for their pupils, providing they have a good technique, or want them to have a good technique! Maybe volume 1 is just as good?

Chris Dumigan

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