Video Pick of the Week: Yuliya Lonskaya Plays Roland Dyens’ ‘Songe Capricorne’

Twenty years ago, Roland Dyens recorded his piece Songe Capricorne (Capricorn Dream) for what would turn out to be among his most popular albums, Nuages, which is almost like a “Greatest Hits” collection, including as it does Felicidade, Gnossienne No. 1, ‘Round Midnight, the “Aria” from Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 5, the Django Reinhardt-penned title cut, and more.

It’s a wonderful piece, somewhat enigmatic, constantly shifting in mood, and, typical of Dyens, requiring considerable virtuosity. On the sheet music, published by Editions Henri Lemoine, Dyens is quoted about the piece: “I have to admit to a sneaking liking for this Capricorn Dream, which, for the price of re-tuning your A string to B, will whisk you off to a new but friendly world, very different from our everyday environment. Here, bells ring out, arpeggios and harmonics cascade like waterfalls, all blending in an evocation of the harp, where the sounds of today and modal memories of yesterday join in friendly rivalry.”


The piece has been played by many guitarists and recorded by a few (perhaps most notably on the excellent 2005 album Elena Papandreou Plays Roland Dyens); here, it is played by the fine Belarusian guitarist Yulia Lonskaya, whom we previously featured in a Video Pick of the Week selection playing Garoto’s  Lamentos do Morro. about a year ago. —Blair Jackson

Roland Dyens