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Nicole Hochschwarzer : Arpeggios and friends – 12 pieces for solo guitar : Bergmann

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Nicole Hochschwarzer

Bergmann Edition: 38 pages

Austrian guitarist Nicole Hochschwarzer wanted to produce a book that ostensibly uses arpeggios as their starting point, and also to honour some of her closest friends along the way. As she states in her Foreword other techniques do come into play too, and so one might consider the pieces studies as well.

The first thing to notice is that they are friendly little pieces, no unusual harmonies anywhere, and with more than a hint of the modern folk acoustic sound that could at times make them arrangements of a song, as they are song – like in a number of places (although they are not arrangements at all, it is the style of the music that I refer to here)

None of them are very difficult, and an intermediate player would have little or no difficulties playing them. The only thing is that they are at times a little vacuous, a little lacking in some way, as after a few pieces the arpeggiation that is particularly apparent in the first 7 or 8 pieces, do begin to get a little same-y. Further on in the book, the styles getting a little more varied, and things improve as a result. I think the way to approach this book is to say that dipping into it, a few at a time is fine, but trying to go all the way through the book in one go, is a little too much.

So in essence, this is a set of friendly pieces, good for a number of technical reasons, and whilst not being very emotionally stimulating, are quite decent pieces, especially if you hand – pick a few at a time, rather than go all the way through the entire 12 in one sitting.

Chris Dumigan

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