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Two works from Mikhail Sytchev


Two works from Mikhail Sytchev

1) Promenade in Dm

2) Promenade in Em


Les Productions D’Oz: 8 and 11 pages respectively


Reviewed 28th January 2018


The compositions of Moscow – born Sytchev have a very individual voice, slightly acidic, with a touch of slightly odd humour, and a tonal harmonic style with a reminder of the ‘wrong – note’ music of Prokofiev. These two Promenades are substantial one – movement pieces and quite different from each other.

The Promenade in Dm begins Moderato with an unnerving little bass – line that is a mixture of staccato and a slippery semi – tonal short trill, with sudden accents intermingled. This builds into four slightly strange chords and then to the opening theme, which lollops along underpinned by some off – kilter harmonic seconds. The other main characteristic is the strangeness of the chords and how unexpected their orderis. Over the 8 pages, several different themes occur, but all backed by this black – humoured relentless bass/chord accompaniment. The piece ends unexpectedly.

Its companion piece in Em begins with a rubato idea that flies around the fingerboard before a pause leads to the Allegro Moderato main theme with an opening glissando, and heavily accented notes mixed with sudden rests. After this there is a Piu Mosso where the notes and chords fly around in an unhinged manner until the previous tempo returns. The two different speeds swap again but with many varied musical elements along the way before a strange trill ending mixed with a tambora closes the work in a mysterious way.

These are wonderful works, and many players will enjoy their bizarre nature and Sytchev’s individual writing style.


Chris Dumigan


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