A difficult piece rooted in the avant-garde Bulgarian contemporary guitarist/composer Atanas Ourkouzounov has earned a strong reputation throughout the guitar-playing community. The majority of his 80-plus compositions have appeared in print, and in the preface to this edition, there is an impressive list of notables who have performed and recorded his music. Sonate No. 3, dedicated to Croation guitarist Zoran Dukic, is a monumentally difficult solo guitar piece. Based firmly in the avant-garde, the three movements -“Vivo”, “Poco Rubato”, and “Presto Nervoso” – all explore the gamut of the fingerboard in an atonal flurry of notes, quite meaningless until the specified tempo is reached. Of particular interest is the middle movement with its many contrasts in tempo and mood; for me it is the high point of the work.
This is a demanding work both musically and technically, and needs a player of great technical accomplishment and high musicianship to pull off in a convincing manner. However, nowadays there is a plethora of high-powered players who are more than capable of tackling this type of material, and in the right hands I’m sure this new sonata will make quite an impression on any audience.
– Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)