Of the composer’s several Folia variation sets for recorders (all available through ARS Libraries) 'Fiesta Follies' most reflects the Iberian provenance of this ancient dance tune. The association of the guitar with Spain no doubt explains this.
At Variation 5, the alto’s higher tessitura and brighter tone add another dimension of variation. There is ample time to switch from tenor to alto and back again. Repeats in Variations 4 and 6 may be liberally ornamented, as demonstrated on the recording presented with this score.
To match the guitar’s delicate harmonics in bb. 229-30, the recorder should produce the 4th line D by fingering low D and venting with finger 1, rolling the finger very slightly down to leave a tiny gap at the top of the hole. This will allow a pianissimo that blends with the guitar harmonics. A video demonstration of this technique is posted HERE.
On a 1 - 10 scale of technical accomplishment (1=novice, 10=virtuoso), both the recorder and guitar parts require about a 7 for successful performance.
The recording features the composer playing the recorders, accompanied by guitarist, Raffi Altounian, who also added the guitar slurrings in the score. The composer gratefully acknowledges him for many helpful technical suggestions pertaining to the guitar.
-- Anthony St. Pierre
The Folia ground bass and chord progression is among this reviewer’s favorite musical staples. In this recorder-guitar duo, the Folia is unmistakeable, yet subtly warped harmonically into something even more interesting. The sound of the recorder with guitar is beautiful, so download this piece and grab yourself a good classical guitarist! A bit more difficult technically than much of this composer’s contributions to the ARS, this piece may take some time to prepare but will reward you greatly and is worth every effort.