This edition is another one of The Frank Koonce Series, a series which appears to be centering on contemporary guitar music and in this instance the French guitarist/composer Denis Mortagne is paying tribute to now legendary American singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley.
In 1997, three years after releasing his first and only studio album, Grace, a recording which has been included in several lists of greatest albums and one which Mojo Magazine named as the number one Modern Rock Classic of all-time, Buckley drowned in Wolf River, a channel of the Mississippi. He was 30 years old.
This well-written and at times, moving, Requiem is made up of three movements the most attractive and poignant being the opening one titled Carmen Perennis (Eternal Ballad), a absolute gem of a piece, easily able to stand alone from its two counterparts and when the subject matter is taken into consideration as to why this composition was written in the first place, this piece takes on a whole new dimension.
Fuga Temporum (Fugitive Vision), the second part of this trilogy is a meandering, arpeggiated piece, symbolic of the river and finishing with a reprise of the theme from the opening movement.
The chief characteristic of the last section, titled Prima Lux (Sunrise), Is the insistent eighth-note rhythm of 3:3:4 almost throughout. This feature, along with its slow and lingering melodic lines placed on either side of this ostinato backdrop, gives this part of the composition an almost hypnotic texture, and with a change of rhythm and a fade-out to silence over the last 12 bars this become quite an emotive finale.
Although two of the movements are written in the daunting-looking and disconcerting (for guitarists) key of F sharp major, six sharps, it does not necessarily compute more sharps = more difficulty.
This composition does have its trickier moments but the majority of grade 6-7 players should be able to handle this work.
The presentation is excellent, with a really attractive front cover photograph of Buckley in action, nice typesetting and well fingered. I don't know whether it is just for this particular series or for the whole of their future catalogue, but the publishers have increased their page size from their previous, slightly smaller one, and it has to be said that this change seems for the better.
Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)…