I liked part 1 of the three-part series Comme des Chansons by Thierry Tisserand that much that I also recorded the pieces of the second book. I think book three will follow.
Thierry Tisserand, you can tell it by the name, is a French guitarist annex guitar teacher who has composed a large number of collections for all kinds of guitar audiences, from beginners to somewhat advanced players. If you search the Internet, you will hardly find any information about him, yet you will be inundated with Youtube videos of guitar enthusiasts playing his pieces.
Comme des Chansons. Freely translated that is Like with Songs. The foreword to the book contains technical clues showing that the pieces are for educational purposes. However, the title is an encouragement, they are not etudes, but songs, music to keep you entertained. With a whole palette of styles and forms in the light muse genre. This time no short foreword by Roland Dyens, but my experiences with part one were a sound motivation.
The pieces in part 2 are more difficult than the ones in part 1.
Comme des Chansons 2. Edition Henri Lemoine 27712 HL
During the recordings, again it became clear that relative technical simplicity is no guarantee for a well-played piece. Also, with these pieces it took me time and repeated attempts to play the music in a presentable and enjoyable manner. Well, at a given moment you draw a line in the number of attempts, so all pieces are an optimum of this time. A piece can die too quickly from perfectionism. Leaving the piece for some time is the solution.
Once again it turned out that recording puts extra pressure, which mercilessly shows the passages that you have not fully mastered yet. As a consequence, my satisfaction that it recording did succeed is likewise.
By the way, I played thirteen of the fourteen pieces in the book. Piece Two, Blues du Dimanche, was not sufficiently interesting to me.
The pieces in brief…
Tango and Herbe, a tango on the lawn, if you translate the title directly. On the green grass you can dance with bare feet. A relaxed melody with traditional construction.
Valse Vénézuélienne, the name says it all, is a Venezuelan waltz. A little tribute to Antonio Lauro. The arpeggios in the middle section require some practice, but have a very nice effect.
The Lady and the Harp is a melancholy piece in folk song atmosphere. The middle section in major key brings some sunshine, but then the mood turns cloudy again.
Cesaria, A tribute to the Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora. A melancholic melody to an almost exotic rhythm.
Milonga. An Argentine tango form with the necessary melancholy. The piece has two flats as accidentals, which requires some getting used to for a guitarist, we are used to sharps.
Le Dromadaire et les Notes Bleues. A jazzy and bluesy piece. This time no pink panther, but a dromedary with a slightly bad morning mood.
Reggae des Brumes. The title translates as misty reggae. A remarkable mix between jazz and a distant reggae rhythm.
Dandy reminds me of a swinging stroll along the boulevard of a (sub)tropical seaside resort. A high level of showing off!
Blues du Samedi. Translates as Saturday? How can you have blues on the first day of the weekend? A nice almost classic blues song.
Mistigri. The title refers to a French card game. A nice lazy melody, apparently it has become a very quiet game of cards.
Picking in the Rain. A typical fingerpicking song with a bit of a bluesy atmosphere. It took me quite some effort to get this song tight. Still, it was nice to do something in this technique again.
Clementine. The counterpart of the song Mandarine from the first book. The rhythm gives it a bossa-nova atmosphere.
Valse Bohème. With this piece, I had to practice a little longer to get the tempo towards a waltz. It may be strange, but all pieces in this book feature a slightly melancholy atmosphere. Unfortunately, this feels appropriate for this moment, I guess. Autumn and corona measures are a bad combination.