Mark Delpriora : Fantasia Nuorese
Les Productions D’Oz: 11 pages
The title refers to the province in Sardinia (Nuoro) and here Delpriora has produced a two movement Fantasia , the second movement of which is on YouTube for anyone to hear.
The opening movement Winds in the Sea is marked ‘Like an Aeolian Harp’ and begins with some very carefully fingered fast runs up and down the fingerboard , so that, like the harp sound he is emulating, the notes run into one another as much as possible , each phrase closing on a slightly enigmatic chord. Then a complex sequence of harmonics leads to a pause and the first true theme of the piece, set in 6/8 in the key of D, and an Andantino, that almost has a folk – like element to some of its harmonies. Set in 3 , and sometimes 4 voices the ,melody goes round a couple of times before a 7/8 , and 4/8 semi – quaver Moderato theme enters that harmonically moves into a more modern direction before landing on fret 15 in a four voices chord with the 3rd part still moving in semi – quavers, which does crank the difficulty factor up a fair amount. This in turn leads to a hair- raisingly fast set of demi – semi – quavers runs underneath a top voice, which , after a less complex interlude, returns once more and the modern harmonies morph into a variation of the more folky, and less busy opening theme. A Meno Mosso leads into the Adagio coda and two long chords close the movement.
The Toccata Porqueddu that consists of the 2nd movement, and is dedicated to Cristiano, who fingered the piece, is a very fast multi- time signature piece consisting of an almost consistent run of semi – quavers in one voice or another. The first page alone has 5/16, 6/16, 7/16, 4/8, 3/8, and 11/16a situation that recurs throughout the 180 bars of its length. It is very dramatic, very explosive and never lets up once it begins, and is a real test of a player’s ability.
Having said that the piece is very enjoyable, providing you can cope with its advanced difficulties, but if you have such a playing technique then this is a very interesting piece to investigate