• Justin

    Now that is beautiful! I have been thinking a lot about what I said about the Iznaola piece. I’m not sure now what it is that I don’t like about it. I can’t say it’s too modern, because this is modern and sounds wonderful. I can’t say it’s his use of dissonance, because I like Koshkins work (usher walz, princes toys) and even Villa-Lobos (etude 9) and Rodrigo (passacaglia) used dissonance. However pieces by Brouwer, and Eliot Carter (shard) just sound harsh and unpleasent. I’ll have to look into Willcocks more and see what the rest of his work is like. Always good to find a new compser, thanks!

    • Manuel Ponce
      Manuel Ponce

      I hope it is clear to everyone that Allan Willcocks is a pen name. Did Tilman Hoppstock write these pieces himself? They are wonderful.

      • Ed Dantes
        Ed Dantes

        Wasn’t Willcocks one of the original Traveling Willburys? Claude Willbury to be exact. He would play his preludes while the audience took a beer break. On a serious note. Its surprising how the classical guitar world is willing to look the other way on hoaxes like this. Maybe because there is no money in this business, its supposed to be just cutesy. Or Maybe not. I would look at all Tilman Hoppstock editions as suspect. Where did the manuscripts for Ponce’s urtext come from? From Alan Willcocks’ secret treasure trove?

  • Chris

    Whole tone scales! Sounds like a simple piece, but I bet it is a real challenge to make it sound legato. I like it.

  • Todd

    This sounds very nice. I like the harmonic structure. To me, the piece has a sort of an easy listening/new age sound to it, but deceptively so. Underneath the surface, the composition is more complex. But I can’t put my finger on it? Does the word “minimalist” fit here? Anyone have a good way of describing how this piece differs from say the Iznoala work? What terms (words), would one use? What genres etc?

  • Christopher Davis

    It’s not minimalist. I think what you guys are probably enjoying is a bit more tightly controlled dissonance (tension and resolution) and also a clearer sense of line (the melody). Both of those things are elements we all enjoy in tonal music, but without tonal rules (as Chris Lee mentioned above, this is whole tone ish), it’s a bit more difficult to accomplish. Essentially you have to create a texture that allows you to both weave in and move away from dissonance, all the while creating a sense of direction both with your line(s) and harmony.

    The sparing (or non-existent) use of those things in Iznaola piece isn’t a weakness, but a composition choice. I think that anyone reading the Iznaola interview can tell he’s smart dude. Composers don’t make choices randomly. Iznaola sought to evoke a certain mood in his piece — and succeeded in expressing what he wanted to express. Obviously it doesn’t appeal to everyone, however.


    PS: That was all a bit academic, wasn’t it? Weird.

  • Sam

    an amazing piece. I’ve always enjoyed impressionist music, but haven’t been able to find many guitar pieces in this style. Also, there is something to be said for making a strong statement within such a short work.

  • DFP

    I don’t hear a lot of dissonance in this. The tension seems to come more from the unusual scale and the indefinite tonality. And with the flow it maintains and the many little resolutions… as Todd says, it’s easy listening, but complex, maybe with an “ambient” flavor. Whatever, a nice piece.

  • lorian

    Hi Chris!

    Sometimes using analytical (or as you say “academic”) terminology make things harder to grasp.

    Which terminology to choose depends one your goal and your audience.
    In this case I would have rather chosen to describe the style of music, not from the point-of-view of music theory, but rather from a cultural standpoint.

    Accordingly, I would describe Willcocks’ music as impressionistic. He is a representative of English impressionism.
    What’s wonderful, is to listen to his works, while exploring expressionist painters!! Highly recommended!