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Nutavut Ratanakarn  : Dedications – 11 pieces for solo guitar : Bergmann

Nutavut Ratanakarn

Bergmann : 32 pages


The Thai composer/performer has toured all over the world with his playing and masterclasses and has recorded nine albums. This latest book of 11 (the cover says 10! But its 11) solo pieces are all dedicated to an individual and all possess a very gentle way, that seems to be a style he enjoys writing in.

So you find Changsha is a 4/4 piece in D with gentle arpeggios linking into a melody above, full of chord progressions that are nicely musical with just the occasional unusual note , just to add a little bit of interest to the piece. The piece keeps moving, sometimes rising up to the ninth position for the odd chord/arpeggio but generally sticking to the open position.

The Alma is in A Major whose arpeggio style is similar to the previous but adds in an open B throughout much of it .Again one notices that the arpeggiated rhythms tend to continue throughout the piece with little change, except for the actual chord itself, but the rhythms largely remain the same .This piece has some harmonic notes and a few glissandi. Again this is a friendly piece, but one whose rhythms tend to be too similar.

Chitella begins as a 2/4 piece in D Major with a number of hammer – ons and pull – offs to keep the player busy. This then moves suddenly into an Allegro 6/8 dance that moves around the fingerboard until turning back to the opening style for its coda.

Cuernavaca is an Andante 4/4 in E Major which again has a tendency to stick to its rhythms throughout, with only the chordal arpeggios changing. Its middle section in E Minor, a 60 bar interlude of continuous semi – quaver arpeggios is, in my opinion, far too long for its content, and I started to see too many similarities throughout it, especially when comparing to the previous pieces.

I must be honest, I found initially the first couple of pieces were nice , friendly , musical, but by the time I had got halfway through the book, I was finding them all too same-y, and very similar to each other. They are of moderate difficulty upwards and  you might think entirely differently to me when trying the pieces out, especially if you have heard or played this man’s pieces before, and like them already, but for me they were a little too much.


Chris Dumigan

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