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PORQUEDDU : Studies from Eight Views from Xiaoxiang Book 1 : DOz



Porqueddu

Les Productions D’Oz: 20 pages


Cristiano Porqueddu has produced many recordings of a number of CDs including box sets of some very interesting material as produced by Brilliant Classics to name but one. Here he has composed a set of 8 studies, (of which this book is the first 4) based on paintings of some extraordinary landscapes of XiaoXiang

His writing is very melodic but often includes many arpeggiated figurations that I have never seen before, meaning that what he writes looks completely new and uniquely styled.

No1, subtitled Evening Snow on the Xiang River is five pages of some of the most complex arpeggio patterns I have ever come across. Set in several different time signatures it begins with a very unusually placed group of notes in G#m. I consider myself a really good sight reader, but this had me stumped a number of times. Then at bar 13, a Poco Piu Mosso, in 6/8 written mostly in semi – quavers that fly around the fingerboard, takes over often moving right into the highest regions of the guitar, still arpeggiating, before moving onto a Lento section that again consists of two voices, very rhythmically diverse from each other. After a brief Mosso section, the opening takers over for one more time, and everything dies away to nothing.

No2, The Rain at Night on the Xiaoxiang, is another extensive piece , mostly written in semi – quaver quintuplet arpeggios, again reaching right to the top of the fingerboard many times . A middle section, marked Poco Piu Mosso, Arioso, is written in a less complex style that gradually leads back into the opening rhythms, where the process happens again, but varied considerably. The quintuplets eventually close the work.

No3, the Wild Geese Coming Home, is more comic in style, and has a jerky and deliberately awkward feel to it, obviously imitating the Geese. It dances around for a while only very seldom going up to the higher positions before a new Lento idea appears which is more expressive in its musical world. Another new Mosso section then enters consisting largely of a rising arpeggio as its main idea. After a return of the Lento one more time the opening comic idea returns, where everything suddenly climbs up to the top with a strange chord, and finally ends on another clashing chord lower down.

The final piece in this book 1 is The Evening Gong at Quingliang Temple, which begins slowly in a flowing 4/4 in three voices, before gathering a little pace at bar 13, marked Poco Mosso, where another rising arpeggio style of melody takes over. This continues for some time before reverting to a variation of the opening, and then to another variation of the Poco Mosso. Each time the music is melodic and harmonically modern, but not atonal, but as before his musical vocabulary is quite different from other writers, and so nothing fits easily into your hands until you are used to his way of writing. The piece finally closes on another variant of the opening Lentamente, and dies away to its very quiet close on a bare fifth on E.

The players needed for these pieces will have to be advanced but providing you are willing to try something completely new to you, many players will get a get deal out of this man’s compositions.


Chris Dumigan



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