• chrisdumigan

Raffaele Bellafronte : Flexis



Raffaele Bellafronte

Les Productions D’Oz: 8 pages


Bellafronte as many works in his oeuvre, and has written a multitude of pieces for almost every combination of instruments you could think of, including a number of chamber works involving guitar, and several solos. My first response to this piece however is that it is obvious write from the outset that he almost certainly is not a guitarist, as nothing sits happily on our instrument, which isn’t to say that it’s not a worthy piece, for look at all the non – guitarist composers we all know and love, but more that it isn’t an easy ride, trying to get your fingers around it.

It is written without key signature and the chromatic, and at times almost bordering on atonal, style immediately tells you why, as the piece is full of momentary sharps flats and naturals, that come and go in a very free way. The music however is emotive, and at times dramatic. The opening 80 beats a minute section is in two and sometimes three voices that climb up the fingerboard and almost ache in their chromaticism. After a short while, the speed suddenly changes to 138 beats a minute and everything becomes much more tense, climaxing in a run of 15 quavers down two octaves to bottom E where a poco piu mosso makes an even more frenetic entrance. By now, the difficulty factor is huge, especially as nothing is lying on the fingerboard where you expect it might do. Unbelievably the speed gets even faster at bar 110 , to 168 crotchets a minute where a mixed beat of 5/8, 5/4, 3/4, and 4/4 take the piece to another level, as the various voices hurtle around the fingerboard , leading finally to a climactic run and two definitive chords that are a proverbial door slam , and finish.

This is an intriguing piece, that I couldn’t say I liked really, but it was quite an experience and I could see that this substantial work is going to attract players who like their music demanding and tense, which this piece certainly is, but definitely it is only for the very advanced players amongst you.


Chris Dumigan

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