Nick Fletcher : The Centaur
Les Productions D’Oz: 8 pages
Having seen a number of Nick Fletcher’s pieces before I was delighted to see this new piece, which has a particularly unusual harmonic framework, no doubt, is owing to the subject matter.
It begins with a rumbling bottom E pattern, over which long unusual chords take centre stage. This immediately creates a very strange and worrying atmosphere, as if, in a film, you would hear this music before something frightening happens; that is the sound created here. Then after a bar of harmonics, a Piu Mosso, Allegro in a mixture of time signatures takes over, in which the music is weaving around, ducking and diving and again, in a different way creating a very unusual atmosphere. The difficulty factor is, at the suggested speed, quite tricky, but manageable with a decent technique, without too much trouble, although the player has to be able to move around the entire fingerboard in a constant run of quavers, at times, breaking into semi – quavers .This extensive section then develops a secondary theme before a thunderous low repeated E reminds one of the opening , and sure enough , that is what happens , as dissonant chords alternate with the forte bass Es , now set in 7/8.A sudden run up and down the fingerboard leads to a D.S. al Fine, that takes the player back to the middle of the secondary theme for one more time through all that section, before the coda , and the original opening of the piece now returns at the original slow speed. A brief faster section, derived from the middle of the piece then re-enters and everything ends on a sudden eerier quietness and a final pianissimo chord.
This is an interesting piece, unusual, as I have said before, in its stylistic ideas, but very pictorial, and full of unusual musical harmonies and melodies, but never utterly dissonant and atonal, and is a worthy addition to Nick Fletcher’s compositions, and as such I can say that a moderately advanced player might really find this piece a lot of fun, and apart from that great for the technique in quite a few ways!