Bryan Johanson: Sonatine - Cahier
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Sonatine – Cahier
Les Productions D’Oz:12 pages
Reviewed June 9th 2019
This five – movement work originated when Johanson found that , having finished writing his Sonatine No4 for guitar , the notebook he used had several nice and useful ideas not utilized. Therefore he decided to use them in this latest work, hence the title, a Sonatina – Notebook.
Johanson’s works are often quirky harmonically and this latest work is no exception. The 5th string is tuned to G throughout.
The opening movement is a Serenade reliant, for its main theme, on hammering on from the open 5th string G to various notes above that in numerous patterns of running sixteenth and eighth note runs. A momentary excursion into longer notes provides a little relief from the sixteenth notes until the opening ideas return.
Meditation is an Andante Largo two- voiced idea with a clashing pair of accompanying notes based around Gs and As, underneath a mournful melody above.
Bagatelle is an Allegro Giocoso that alternates between two octave jumps from string six to string one in a number of odd rhythms, and scale like runs reminiscent of the opening movement’s themes.
Berceuse is a chord –based Sostenuto reliant on placing unusual combinations of triads next to one another.
The Finale is a rollicking Presto that is a constant flow of eighth notes in a single voice using almost folk like scales to make its effect, and is a lot of fun getting your hands around at the required speed.
This is an unusual piece, great fun to play, deserving lots of admirers.