Prélude et Toccata
Fireworks and more in confusingly notated work
This pair of pieces by the very proific French composer (b. 1950) has an unusual scordatura of tuning the 4th string up to an E and the 3rd string down to the F (only a semitone above the lower string), which proves to be a considerable disadvantage when trying to read it. This decision was surely taken because the Prelude in particular has a rocking E-F motif throughout, which now proves to be on open strings. There is a plaintive melody above and some gently dissonant work going on below. The Toccata is written on two staves-a little like Domenici's Koyunbaba - where on the lower stave you play the piece as if it is tab-namely, you get a D and a G written for the 3rd and 4th strings, but actually hear and E and an F, while the upper stave shows you what you actually hear.
Now, some people can work with this, but l'm not one of them. l rely on the music I am seeing to sound like it should, as I can picture this in my mind before I play, and getting a different answer to what l am visually expecting is confusing. That said, musically the Toccata is an extended piece full of fast finger-work and plenty of instrumental fireworks running over the entire fingerboard, and anyone who fancies the sound of this piece and can manage the above visual/audio problems, and has a thorough and advanced technique, will get much from it.
Classical Guitar (Spring 2017)