Thomas Athanaselos : Aiteall
Bergmann Edition: 4 pages
The title refers to the period of nice weather and sunshine between two showers, and is a short but very pleasant piece of writing from this Greek player/composer whose second album this is from. This piece may be short, in fact just over two and a half minutes long, but it is packed full of technique and very individual writing that makes this far from easy to play. Having said that it is very tonal, beautiful in sound and, for the advanced player full of interesting ideas, both musical and technical that set it apart from the norm.
The speed of 60 crotchets a minute begins with a dolce expressivo opening theme of some beauty. Artificial harmonics mix with natural notes amid a plethora of different rhythms from the outset before a slight increase in movement, to 80 crotchets a minute brings in a number of percussive slaps and a very offbeat melody and harmonies that almost continuously straddles the beat, whilst consistently jumping from one place to the next. This section is very carefully fingered however so there is no area for misunderstanding the writer’s intentions. Glissandi, multiple hammer – ons and pull – offs, appoggiatura and many areas of string crossing are just some of the musical events that occur here. The piece then closes on a very animated sequence of semi – quavers before reaching a coda that hearkens back to a portion of the opening theme.
As I said before, this is definitely not easy but once one gets past the technical difficulties, a lovely piece to play.