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Sean Shibe

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Sean Shibe

An arrangement of Janacek’s ‘Good Night’

Over 2016 I played 3 arrangements from Janacek’s ‘On an Overgrown Path’ which, though significantly inspired by Pavel Steidl’s magical ideas, I arranged myself.

The 15 pieces which make up the suite are stunning. Innocent yet mature, naive but still cynical, weightless, and dark.

I realised that my sketches might prove of some use to another guitarist if they were to need a place to start in making their own. The solutions I offer are not always the most practical or efficient, but I feel satisfied with them. The integrity of the phrase is usually maintained, provided the shifts are managed with necessary dexterity.

Good luck! And if not playing them, then a good new reworking!

janacek-good-night-p-1

janacek-good-night-p-2

janacek-good-night-p-3

janacek-good-night-p-4

Given the last 6 months or so, we might be inclined to despair and the thought that we haven’t come very far. Don’t worry, I’ve found a reminder of our progress!

For Christmas my father gave me the first four issues of the Halle Orchestra magazine. It makes for some reading that is very much…of its time. The picture accompanying the first and most hilarious paragraph is Stuart Knussen,  father of British composer/conductor Oliver Knussen!

Feeling small in York 

Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise

Several reviews have come through for the Maxwell Davies CD collaboration with the ever amazing Scottish Chamber Orchestra, from The Observer and The Financial Times among others.

The Herald: “So back to the new disc: and we must say a word about Sean Shibe, the still-young Scottish guitarist…with the most beautiful, resonant and soulful performance of Max’s Farewell to Stromness, probably the Max piece that is everybody’s favourite – which was played by a local fiddler at the composer’s funeral. Shibe also gives an intense and deadly-accurate performance of Max’s Hill Runes, free of the scratches and scrapes that blemish so much guitar playing.”

McAllister Matheson newsletter: “This fascinating disc combines newer works with old-established favourites. Orchestral pieces alternate with works for solo guitar, the latter played by young Edinburgh-born guitarist Sean Shibe. He gives a rare account of Hill Runes, a series of five characterful miniatures inspired by George Mackay Brown’s enigmatic poem of that name. The music’s nature is more akin to lute music; apparently Max was trying to find a way of writing for the guitar that was in no way ‘Spanish’. Shibe is a persuasive advocate for the work, and also gives a warm-hearted performance of Farewell to Stromness.”

Outreach near Bath

I feel like outreach is something often talked of critically, but when it works well (as it did here) it is one of the most rewarding things. The aim here was a humble, noble one – simply to help those of primary/secondary school age become better listeners to works of classical music. The works I played were not necessarily short excerpts. At the Peasedown St. John primary I performed Sir Malcolm Arnold’s Fantasy in full, which I’m sure challenged them, but little fidgeting – they were attentive listeners.

Visit to Peasedown St. John primary in their blog here.

And Writhlington tweeting afterwards, below.

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