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Olga Amelkina – Vera : First Snow – GFA Spotlight series : DOz

Olga Amelkina – Vera

Les Productions D’Oz: 7 pages

This Belarusian – American guitarist/composer has written many works over the years but this latest one has an immediacy that many will take to.

The opening is initially marked ‘Freely’ and has some very effective, almost 30s jazz style about its harmonies and melody. This transcends into a waltz with a similar harmonic feel that uses the fingerboard in a very imaginative and effective fashion whilst taking the player all around the strings and using many accidentals as it goes. This section does take a little bit of care, as it is quite different to most things you will have tried before, and yet is beautifully done.

Then, out of nowhere, a Samba emerges in E Major, full of the usual expected off – beat rhythms but this time mixed in with one or two unexpected details that just take it slightly out of the norm, including one or two momentary discords, and some very heavily accented ponticello chords.

I found this a delightful piece of writing, always interesting, and certainly a superb piece for a moderately talented player to have a go at, and also I would imagine that it would be a fine piece in a concert. Recommended!

Chris Dumigan

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