Elegia d’autunno and Passaggi by Giorgio Signorile, published by UT Orpheus. CH 350
UT Orpheus publish a significant range of guitar music from anthologies of Aguado and Weiss through to pieces by contemporary composers. Judging from their catalogues, I get the impression they are one of the ‘go to’ publishers for Italian Guitar Music.
Giorgio Signorile’s pieces Elegia d’autunno and Passaggi are two of them, written in 2020 and placed together in an elegant book where the typefaces and layout are appealing.
Giorgio is from Northern Italy and has focussed his guitar skills on teaching and writing and these come together in these two intermediate pieces which would serve as useful and melodious studies for students.
The first of them is a slow tempo ‘not-really-tremolo’ piece, but using the standard tremolo fingering. These kinds of p-a-m-i works can sound ineffectual …. as if the player hasn’t quite yet arrived at a velocity to render the melodies like a continuous stream of sound. Giorgio manages to avoid falling into this trap and has created a bit of an ear-worm. There’s a key signature of two sharps but the harmony is restless and has a plagal quality to it. The arrival of D major doesn’t come with a structural intensity and this helps to reinforce its somewhat nebulous character.
Passaggi is for me the more successful of the two pieces. It starts off with conventional figurations, very well worked-out with hemiolas around E-min-9th, making it rather catchy. Then we arrive at strummed added-note chords interspersed with campanella chords before a return to the hemiolas.
These pieces sit at around a grade 5 standard and could be seen as performance repertoire for the young student preparing a music festival programme. They aren’t ground-breaking or especially innovative, but they do what they do jolly well. Giorgio obviously knows his way around the instrument and can convey a sense of fun to the player.
Thus, for any teacher searching for repertoire outside the normal graded material, I can recommend Giorgio Signorile to you.
Colin Tommis. May 2021.