Trois mélodies

Composer : OURKOUZOUNOV, Atanas

DO 823
ISBN : 978-2-89503-598-5 
16 p.
Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan

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There are three songs in this book, all based on popular Bulgarian melodies. The first song has a light-hearted feel about it, joyfully reminiscent of eastern European folk music. The second song is in complete contrast, short, slow and sad with dramatic flights of emotion by the singer, mirrored in the guitar part. The last song picks up the mood and speed and ends on a triumphant note. I am assuming that the text is in the Bulgarian language. Often the distinctive sound of the original language adds colour and timbre to the song, which is sometimes lost when the text is translated into another tongue. There is a literal English translation but I don’t know how much tweaking it would need to make it fit. The words are very whimsical and I suspect full of allegorical meaning. The pitch of the songs is for medium high voice. The standard is grade V and above. For the guitarist the standard is higher, grade VI and above. Sometimes the music is labelled in detail, and at other times the guitarist is left to make their own decisions. He does however give three separate explanations of markings in the music that the guitarist may not be familiar with. Ourkouzounov cleverly uses open string combinations that transfer easily around the fret board. Because he has not overburdened the guitar part with unwieldy and difficult chords, there is a feel of engagement with the Singer and shared interaction between the two. The book has a stiff white card cover, enlivened with a bright orange block of colour, and an enhanced colour photograph of the composer in profile playing his guitar. Although there is a small issue for the Singer with the language, I feel that these songs have been very much composed with live performance in mind.

Sandra Hambleton Smith (Classical Guitar Magazine)