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Recording: Six Piéces Faciles by Jaime Bosch

Practice makes the master, that is very true, but it is not wise to start your first recording attempts with the Chaconne from the D minor Partita by Bach, because you will get stuck for sure without the routine to play a long piece like this. Therefore I will start my recording process with much easier material.

Thus I came across Six Piéces Faciles by the Catalan Jaime Bosch (1826-1895) who made a certain fame for himself in the scene of the Paris Musique de Salon for guitar and was friends with the French painter Edouard Manet.

Do not underestimate things because of the characterization Faciles –Easy-, particularly with performances and recordings it often shows how difficult easy can be!

I made a deliberate choice for this little suite, because it is new material for me, I had to study it from the beginning, which yields a more complete approach than refreshing old material. An important aspect became the purposiveness, I had add such detail to the study that I would be able to perform the pieces well under a certain pressure. That requires a thorough approach of the spots in the piece that make you nervous if they do not play well.

Six Piéces Faciles includes six little pieces, Enfantillage, Guagirana 1, Guagirana 2, Les Adieux, Lamento and Gitanella.

Enfantillage translates as childishness. The piece is the most easy of the six, provided that you have sufficient skill in rest strokes! It requires study to perform the mainly unison melody with a little bit of fantasy. Dynamics, phrasing and variation in sound are important with this simple melody. As a consequence of a good preparation I was able to make a recording that satisfied me after a few attempts.

Guagirana, that looks like a Spanish dance. A tiny little bit, maybe, because this dance form is not known in literature, Bosch made the title up himself. Yet its character is very Spanish, particularly because of the triplet passages.

These very triplets appeared quite stress-sensitive during the recordings, as a consequence of hurry I played them as ornaments rather than the broader patterns they should be. Guagirana 1 appeared the least stressful. It appeared important that I became aware of my inclination towards haste during recording. It helps to insert space for breathing! Guagirana 2 looked more simple on paper, yet the triplets spoiled the show! I needed careful re-studying and a few attempts to achieve a recording that was smooth enough. Yet I keep hearing some hesitation while listening afterwards.

Les Adieux is a friendly piece with a clear structure. Yet a thorough preparation appeared quite useful. Particularly the middle section with the scales ad libitum were tricky. The solution was simple: Do not Hurry and do not get Annoyed! Doing so I succeeded in making a reasonable recording after a few attempts.

Lamento is a piece with a clear separation of melody and accompaniment. That’s a good thing to exploit in the recording. It appeared quite useful that I studied the piece carefully on the tricky chord changes. Knowledge of the piece provides security during recording.

Gitanella, the final piece, gets some flamenco flavour in its last section. In this piece I could play the triplets much more smoothly. During my study, I analysed the breathing in the piece, resulting in phrasing that gave me room in the recording.

Recording these pieces I suffered a bit from too much self-criticism. Maybe the title (Faciles…) caused a surplus of perfectionism that made me reject recordings often. Of course I have point of improvement for these pieces, triplets should be broader and I have to stick to a bit of serenity, get rid of the haste.

(Obvious) Conclusion from this recording session: Preparation is vital! During your study you can implement the peace to avoid the effects of recording stress!

Below you have the option to play the pieces. Before playing a new piece, stop the one which is currently playing, else you will get a most interesting musical clash!

Playback:

Enfantillage

Guagirana 1

Guagirana 2

Les Adieux

Lamento

Gitanella