Siciliana, opus 78
Autor: Rafaelle Calace
Colección: Vincent Beer-Demander
Para: Orquesta de plectro
Información: 12 p. Libreto + partes.
The very welcome explanatory notes set the context for this piece, which is an evocative image of what the editor feels is perhaps as much Neapolitan Italy as it is Sicilian folk music.
The arrangement is for two mandolins, mandola, guitar, mandocello and what would seem to be a double bass in bass clef.
Calace died in 1934, leaving behind a legacy of virtuosic performances and compositions, and a reputation as a fine luthier, which together fulfilled his ambition to promote the mandolin and its charms.
This work is technically modest - not at all like the majority of his mandolin compositions - and the guitar part is straightforward and feels completely natural and comfortable under the fingers. The guitar part is classically structured with a mix of first position arpeggios and some block chords, which with few exceptions are also first position. As such, it would not be beyond a determined Grade 4 or 5 player.
The slow opening takes us through simple but lush chords with a pleasing melody and a romantic style of writing. The pace changes with a centre section that is more brusque, though the guitar part is built from longer notes, so that it is no harder to play. A reprise of the opening brings this charming piece to a close.
The mandolin family plays tremolo virtually all the time, imparting a distinctly Italian feel to the music, and at the same time ensuring the melody is relaxed and the long notes, of course, sustained in full.
For a less experienced plectrum orchestra this is a nice work, if only because of the pleasing melody and nicely crafted guitar part.
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)