Autor: Erik Marchelie
Para: Orquesta de Plectro
20 p. + partes
I hesitated at the word plectrum, and that's before I opened the music and found it set for two mandolins, a mandola, two guitars and finally a contra in bass clef only. Deep inside the music, seeing the word arco on the contra part made the penny drop - this wasn't a contra guitar but a double bass.
Barcarolle, in a leisurely 6/8, is a mix of staccato and normal articulation. Many of the bars are based on two arpeggios; the guitars play the first and the mandola the second, in a lovely interplay. There are heady key changes that bring this interchange more strongly to the fore. The first mandolin splits divisi to decorate its tune with some little runs, and this decoration flows through the other parts before the theme is reprised for a delicate, gentle conclusion. This is a pleasing work and the key changes make for a very satisfying three minutes of music.
Danse has a very atmospheric hurdy-gurdy feel to it; some effective tambor from the guitars is followed by some ponti and yet more key changes. The mandolins and mandola have some energetic scale passages with plenty of sharps to keep the concentration engaged; but we guitarists mustn't laugh - we suddenly find ourselves in four flats, though it's not as scary as it sounds. The characteristic mandolin tremolo finally makes an appearance as we approach the finale of the piece.
It would be possible to play it entirely on guitar - the contra is ostensibly doubled by the lower guitar part (frequently at the same pitch) and could be omitted without the world ending.
But it would sound gruff. For those of us who mix with our metal string plectrum-wielding colleagues, there's some nice writing here at an intermediate standard.
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)