A Timeless Odyssey
Works by Dowland, Mudarra, Kellner, JS Bach, Satie and Anders Miolin
Anders Miolin (12-string guitar)
Prima Classic PRIMA005 72:07 mins
In 2017, Anders Miolin and the luthier Ermanno Chiavi produced a 12-string guitar, the Dodeka, to ‘expand the range and the sound spectrum of the traditional guitar’, an instrument for which Miolin has been arranging and composing ever since. In this recording, Miolin’s arrangements start in the Renaissance with Alonso Mudarra’s 16th-century Fantasia X, continue through the centuries via Dowland, Bach and Miles Davis to Miolin’s own Regressando a Sevilla, a work inspired by Mudarra.
The Dodeka has a big, idiosyncratic sound. Miolin’s free but thoughtful reinterpretation of historic works unmoor them from their historic range, spilling over at the edges, sometimes too much to counteract a perceived sense of loss of boundary. The bass, in particular, in the opening Fantasia, jars with its unexpected echoic depth, but elsewhere this quality enhances.
Miolin broadens out the repertoire with a number of Satie works, originally for piano, a good match for the Dodeka, Miolin’s arrangement and rhythmically-loose interpretation making the Gnossienne No. 1 sound startlingly, classically Greek. The second half of the recording is filled with Miolin’s own pieces, written for the range of this instrument, inhabiting it and creating a convincing, coherent soundworld.
Sarah Urwin Jones