Born in Bulgaria this man’s music often reflects the folk and popular styles prevalent in his country. Therefore this latest one-movement work uses an exotic scale that is typical of Bulgaria. So, for starters, with an A you get Bbs and C#s. It begins allegro con spirito at a rollicking 200-crotchets-a-minute and with most of the writing being quavers, you are really moving. The majority of the first section consists of fast runs interwoven with exotic chords. There are plenty of pull-offs and hammer-ons and the rhythms occasionally cross the bar as well. Then things ‘slow down’ to only 184-crotchets-a-minute for a poco rubato section more chordal in concept. Much use of artificial and natural harmonics alongside normal notes is made here. The next tempo is 160 crotchets, as a new idea emerges that appears to be based on the opening theme. Then an interesting fact emerges; for every few bars the tempo drops from 160, to 150, to 140, to 130-beats-a-minute until you are pitting rhythms of 2-against-3 split over three exotically harmonised voices. After a few bars of a true lento, the scherzando idea from earlier (l60-beats-a-minute) returns which then accelerates to the initial idea at the original tempo of 200-beats-a-minute, which creates a real tension resulting in a slam-bang finish on an octave A.
One has to be a really good player to make any sense out of this piece. It is fast and furious, and excitingly done but takes absolutely no prisoners, and you would have to be a fine technician to make this a worthwhile purchase.
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)
The Bulgarian composer Ourkouzounov has some excellent guitar credentials, having studied with several well-known French masters of the instrument. His Extension, subtitled Illusion No. 2, is firmly cast in 7/8 meter almost all the way. Sometimes this means 4+ 3, other times the accent is 3+4. It is certainly a composition of Middle Eastern origin, relying on a mesmerizing rhythm to makes its musical case. There are some elements of oud music here, and anything resembling a whistleable melody is purely coincidental and probably unintended. But as an exciting, high-energy display piece, it works very well. Not for the faint of heart or fingers; this is Grade 8 easily.
David Norton (Soundboard Magazine)