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Maria Linnemann : Songs from the Heart : Ricordi/ Hal Leonard

Maria Linnemann

Ricordi / Hal Leonard : 12 pages

Dutch composer / performer Maria Linnemann is a name well – known to me as I am sure it is to many of you reading this. It just so happens however than none of her compositions have ever come my way. I am sorry that I haven’t seen or heard them before having come across this latest book of 10 pieces for solo guitar.

What comes across immediately is how well written they are, and secondly how emotional they are, in a way that you instantly understand the harmonies and the clever way that she weaves them into the themes, so that they give the player something warm and beautiful to play, without being too derivative of anything they may have come across before, and without being too difficult. For these pieces are not too hard, and yet are interesting throughout.

So, for example, you find Danse sous la Pluie, a waltz in D Major, and in the middle, D Minor, with various accents and staccato marks to bring out the character of the dance. There is Blues Chat, which is a fun swing – styled piece in A Major, and then Poppy Dreaming, which has a lovely melody set in E major, and beautiful harmonies. Another really lovely piece is When Evening Comes, with a melody that moves around the fretboard in almost constant harmony, and using some clever fingerings to really make its impression felt.

However there is not a bad piece here. They are all really nice, very involving to play, and would definitely be appreciated by any player who likes their music warm and beautiful, and doesn’t need it to be too difficult. I could see teachers using these pieces for their pupils too.

Chris Dumigan

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