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  • chrisdumigan

Two works from Mikhail Sytchev: DOz

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Two works from Mikhail Sytchev

a) Rondo Schubertino : 12 pages

b) 12 Preludes : 27 pages

Both books published by D’Oz

Reviewed 25th January 2018

Sytchev’s music is Russian in every pore. It also has a tinge of the sarcastic and the sudden twist of harmony that catches you by surprise, and therefore in a way reminiscent of Prokofiev, and Shostakovich, and I have loved everything I have ever seen of his guitar music.

The first piece breaks the mould slightly in that it is truly very Schubertian. It takes the form of an Andante Introduction leading into an Allegretto Tema that moves immediately in and out of several keys leaving you a little confused key – wise, a deliberate cap – doffing to Schubert’s unusual way of working with key structures. This Allegretto in turn moves into an Adagio with the same chameleonic character and then into a section that moves from Allegro to Andante, Lento, Moderato, Allegro and Andante in just twenty four bars. This tempo situation recurs throughout its duration, but finally settles on Allegretto to finish on a happy note.

The 12 Preludes is quite simply the best thing he’s written. They cover such a wide range of emotions, and go over so many different musical ideas that you are constantly engrossed. Not that they are easy; far from it. They reminded me somewhat of the Chopin Preludes in that each one goes through a significant journey with just one musical idea or pattern, yet on the face of it quite simply achieved. So are these twelve pieces here, and are a true set of wonderful compositions. Not to be missed.

Chris Dumigan

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