9. In Old Style
Marek Pasieczny (1980)
Tres Apuntes (Three Sketches)
11. I. De el “Homenaje a Falla”
12. II. De un fragmento instrumental
13. III. Sobre un canto de Bulgaria
Leo Brouwer (1939)
Michael Karmon (1969)
John Oeth’s latest solo classical guitar album Sketches is a compilation of works in the genre of a sketch. Contemporary composers Marek Pasieczny, Leo Brouwer, and Michael Karmon are featured. Each movement is a miniature based on a single idea with little development.
10 Sketches by the Polish composer Marek Pasieczny (1980) opens the album with flare. Every sketch is in a different style from a lullaby to a bossa nova. Pasieczny’s own virtuosism shines through with the use of extended techniques such as percussion and strumming behind the nut of the guitar. His lyricism is also on display in most of the sketches.
Tres Apuntes (Three Sketches) by Leo Brouwer (1939) is a prime example of his Afro-Cuban compositional style. The first movement De el ‘Homenaje a Falla’ (From ‘Homenaje a Falla’) uses material from his chamber work Homenaje a Falla for guitar, flute, oboe, and clarinet. De unfragmento instrumental (From a Chamber Piece) is derived from a string quartet sketch. The last movement Sobre un canto de Bulgaria (On a Bulgarien Song) uses Brouwer’s favorite melody that he also uses in other works such as Hika and Estudio no.8 from Estudios Sencillos.
The massive 21-movement Sketchbooks (I-V) by Michael Karmon (1969) was written as an exercise in developing a single idea for each movement. The sketches are arranged into five works. Like 10 Sketches, each movement is in a different style. Many of the sketches feature Karmon’s distinctive lyricism, while others may be dissonant and demented. Karmon’s writing maintains a hard to find balance between idiomatic guitar writing and composition that is independent of the guitar.