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Catching up with Michael Ibsen

Michael Ibsen on Sonata #1 in d minor which Nathan Bredeson wrote for him....

Nathan has already relayed the story of how the piece came about, I would just like to add one aspect of why I pursued the Shostakovich idea. As I outlined earlier the guitar repertoire has missed out on some recognition and representation in the past. For me, some of my favourite parts of the classical repertoire in general are parts which have virtually zero guitar music. In particular for me is so-called “impressionistic” music (many argue that symbolism is a better term than impressionism) from predominantly french composers. The only piece we have that could maybe be categorized as this is the only

solo guitar piece written by Manuel de Falla, which is a short work that evokes more Spanish elements than perhaps french impressionism, although it does contain a nice Debussy quote and was written as an homage to Debussy when he passed away. There is a great composer and arranger from Germany, Tilman Hoppstock, who has been writing under the pseudonym of Allan Willcocks, a fictional English composer he invented who was supposed to have studied in Paris in the early 20th century. The pieces he writes under this pseudonym evoke the textures, harmonies, and rhythmic devices we would associate with Debussy or Ravel. My impression is that he has done this to try to fill in a bit of a gap in our repertoire, something many of us are grateful for. In the same way, I wanted us to try and work towards filling in a bit of a gap too, since we never got any guitar music from one of our favourite composers, Shostakovich.

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