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01684 773883

Paul Lewis
DANCES for guitar and string quartet
Goodmusic GM260

Catalogue Number: GM260

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Dances for Guitar & String Quartet image
In 1997 guitar virtuoso John Mills asked me to write a piece to conclude his 50th birthday concert that would "bring the house down". The result was this dance suite.
The first movement, Slow Waltz, was composed in the French countryside, which perhaps accounts for its languorous romanticism - a mood that comes over me whenever I so much as think of France.
Tango (Homage to Piazzolla) was the result of a long-held desire to write something in Brazilian style.
The work ends with a fiery and energetic Fandango. A rhythmic ostinato minor key drone propels the music forward, but the guitar twice breaks into uninhibited major key strumming with the characteristically Hispanic alternation of 6/8 and 3/4. The second time the lead violin joins in with a joyful tune in folk-dance style which is eventually dismissed by a 3-note motif, ECB, the defining notes of my favourite C major seventh chord and the initials of a secret amour at the time of composing. The motif is repeated obsessively until it drives the music to a thrilling conclusion which did, as John Mills had requested, bring the house down! Paul Lewis

First performed by John Mills with a string quartet led by Susanna Candlin at London's Wigmore Hall on September 13th, 1997

Score and set of parts included. Guitar fingering by John Mills

Duration 12 minutes

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