'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Friday, May 18, 2007

From 'Tango en skai' to the 'Enigma Variations'.

I can now reveal to you one of the pieces that Robin started working on yesterday.
It's 'Tango en skai', composed by Roland Dyens in 1978, and published in 1985.
Coincidentally, a comment was left on our YouTube site, by someone calling themselves, 'EnSkai', from Singapore, only yesterday.
I know that Robin has made huge progress with the piece, as he is now playing it right the way through, and, in fact, is doing so from memory.
This I can prove, as I have the music in front of me, in order to read the composer's notes, and Robin, continues to play in the music room.

The piece is a Tango, and as Dyens states, "The tango is a sensual, even erotic dance of the underworld, whose rhythm, by definition, must be constant from the opening harmonic to the final chord".

One criticism Dyen's has of the many performances and recordings that he has heard, is that they are, "dominated by an extremely classical, 'bow tie and tails' approach, accompanied by streams of misplaced rubatos and, all too often, strategically positioned rallentandos".

He helpfully suggests that, "instead of the elegant, manicured approach, it would be more appropriate to lose one's soul in the rough criminal suburbs of Buenos Aires".
Dyens also, generously states, that if some extra, unwritten notes should stray uninvited into this tango, that he would welcome them with open arms.

With all this in mind, Robin picked up his guitar, and set to work.
This type of piece is an excellent example of the benefits of not coming solely from a classical background.
Having played electric guitar for many years, with some incredible bands, and as a well respected session musician, Robin has the advantage of being a very 'loose', and relaxed player.
It's certainly helping him here, especially as it isn't an easy piece to play.
I think it may even find its way onto the next CD if we ever resolve the microphone issue.

For the last in the series of 'Elgar week', Geoffrey Norris examines the mystery of the 'Enigma Variations', with this fascinating article, 'Puzzle or publicity stunt?'
It makes you want to don your deerstalker and try to unravel the mystery...

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