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  • chrisdumigan

Nicolas Guay:Tarentelle : Editions Soldano

Updated: Jun 7, 2022


Nicolas Guay

Editions Soldano: 13 pages

Reviewed 24th September 2018

Guay is a French composer/performer whose CD ‘Paradise Borders’ I had the privilege to review recently, and consisted of entirely his own compositions, one of which was this Tarentelle.

Written in a 6/8 E Major and marked at the alarmingly fast speed of 154 dotted quarter notes a minute this piece is very difficult indeed. It begins with a rolling accompaniment of an A Major Seventh arpeggiated idea before hurtling around at top speed through numerous chords until a frenetic rasgueado idea enters .This leads to a section marked ‘pop/rock’ which alternates between 6/8 and 3 /4 , continuing to flash around the fingerboard and eventually to another rasgueado climax. After this a sudden mezzo piano enters .By now the piece has gone through several keys and the tonal music littered with accidentals. Varied repeats of many of the ideas and themes leads to a much slower 9/8 interlude, with occasional changes in time signature, that provides a welcome calm after all the musical histrionics. The best (and most difficult) is yet to come however, because now the final section begins with the opening ideas returning surrounded by intense strumming ideas, now linked with strummed ghost notes interwoven with real strummed chords. This is extremely tricky to bring off but exciting to hear and play , and then finally leads to the coda with a stop – start feel, before turning into a fortissimo pair of strums , destined to be a crowd – pleaser.

It is intensely virtuosic but lots of fun!

Chris Dumigan

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