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Roberto Piana : Ritratti Di Sardegna



Roberto Piana

Les Productions D’Oz: 12 pages

This work is in five movements and is written by a celebrated Sardinian composer with many accolades to his name. The only thing to be aware of with this piece is that he is a pianist not a guitarist. Yes, he has had the help of Cristiano Porqueddu who has revised and fingered the work but it remains in a lot of places, not very guitaristic , and with some places where the music struggles to actually do what the dots say.

Take for example the opening movement Giuseppe Biasi where the composer asks the player in bar one to play firstly a triplet semiquaver of an low F , a C on the 5th , followed by an F on string 4 , but fingered 1, 3, and 2 in the left hand , because the dotted minim that follows , consisting of an Ab on 6, and an Eb on 5, with fingers 3, and 4 respectively are to sound underneath the afore – mentioned 4th string F with finger 2 still held there! Very unusual and extremely tricky .Unfortunately this situation continues throughout the movement wherein certain notes just cannot be held on for the total duration as written. Now I am aware that some of the guitar’s very best works from the early to mid-20th century were written by non – guitarists, but even there, you can find some areas where it just doesn’t work, and some of this doesn’t.

Gavino Gabriel, the 2nd Movement is an Adagio , recitativo fares a lot better and is a moving , though short one page .Even here though the player is asked to hit a 10th fret D on string 1 for a minim with the first finger , whilst playing an E chord, consisting of an open 6th E, a B on string 5, fret 2 , and a G# on string 3 at the same time! Again impossible!

No3, Lao Silesu, is a multi-time – signatured piece marked Morbidamente with many tempo changes in its 38 bars. No4 Annunzio Cervi, is a 12/8 Allegro Spigliato that moves consistently in quavers and is perhaps the longest of the 5, whilst the final Grazia Deledda, is Grave and largely chord driven.

As I said before there are in all 5 movements’ places where the writing simply doesn’t work successfully, and so I regret to say that as it stands, I cannot see it being a very useful piece for guitarists unless they are prepared to do a fair bit of their own editing to make it work.


Chris Dumigan

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