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Mark Delpriora : 12 Etudes : DOz

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Mark Delpriora

Les Productions D’Oz: 51 pages

Mark Delpriora has had a distinguished career as a writer, performer and teacher, and this latest work sets a new benchmark in guitar composition, as like Chopin, Liszt, Sor, Villa Lobos, Mignone, and the other composers before him, he has managed to write a set of studies that break completely new ground.

The first thing that one notices about this new set of twelve is just how technically demanding they in fact are. I consider myself a very able player who can sight read better than most, but this set stopped me in my tracks, and in fact I would say that they are so challenging that they make the Villa – Lobos set, once a set that really gave players technical problems, seem like Three Blind Mice by comparison. Any doubters would do well to refer to the YouTube performance of the entire twelve, which is really an eye (or ear) opener.

Without going into too much detail, add together the extreme difficulties of multiple rhythmic challenges, almost non – stop racing about the fingerboard playing some very advanced harmonies and melodies, often set in a number of simultaneous voices, and with pieces where nothing lands where you expect it might do, and you have a set of studies that are a real highpoint in a guitarist’s works.

It only goes to show just how much more advanced players are now, than, say, 3 or 4 decades ago, because at that time Bream, or Williams or the suchlike were at their peak, and were playing , for example, the Villa Lobos Etudes, which were considered very tricky by the huge majority of people. I seriously wonder, had they seen these pieces by some magic means then, whether they could actually have coped with the difficulties imposed by these ground – breaking works. Yet, here now on YouTube are 12 wonderful performances of this set, and many other works with similar challenges

So if you want to test your techniques to the absolute limit and then some, this volume will fit the bill!

Chris Dumigan

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