TOGETHER for solo guitar by Lars Melander Da Capo Music Production, Sweden. 3 pages. This attractive little piece takes the form of a fugue in two voices. After the initial statement by the upper voice, the lower one comes in, four bars later, a fourth below. As new themes are introduced the lower voice 'answers' in octaves or fifths below. The themes are quite attractive with the whole piece obviously paying homage to J S Bach. Together begins to wear a little thin near the bottom of page 2 where the two parts are written in a low register, but things pirk up again on the third and final page with a re-statement of the original theme. The work has interest, but this is not sustained throughout. I'm not too sure about this piece as a professional concert item, but it certainly is worth looking at for any informal occasions and could be an excellent choice for teaching purposes as an introduction to this form. A good Grade 5/6 player would manage it easily enough. Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar)
SARABANDE by Thomas Palsson TRE MELODIER UR FROSOBLOMSTER by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger. arr. Lars Melander Da Capo Music Production, Sweden. Da Capo Music Production will, I suspect, be a new name to most of our non-Scandinavian readers. These well-presented publications were received simultaneously, which is why they are being reviewed en masse. Thomas Palsson's curious little Sarabande is interesting. A one-page composition dated 1979, this isolated miniature successfully juxtaposes the chordal style of the original baroque form with some quite jarring chromatic dissonances. Although it is too brief to allow any detailed evaluation of the composer's abilities. Sarabande is an attractive fragment whose technical demands fall within the range of a Grade 5/6 player. The real discovery is the set of three short pieces by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger. In the absence of any biographical information, I am unable to reveal anything about the composer other than the fact that his dates are 1867-1942 and that he gets an honourable mention in the hallowed annals of the Oxford Companton of Music. Whatever their origin, these cheerful and melodic compositions transfer very convincingly. The rich pastoral harmonies are not always guitar- friendly, but there's nothing here which a Grade '8 player couldn't handle. A generally impressive international debut from what appears to be a new publishing house. Paul Fowles (Classical Guitar)
LARGHETTO K487 by W A Mozart, arr. Lars Melander Da Capo Music Production, Sweden. 1 page. This is an uncomplicated arrangement of one of the twelve pieces for two basset horns in Mozart's K487. It is, as you would expect, pleasantly light and melodious. with the harmony suitably edited and filled out by the arranger to accommodate the guitar's capabilities. The result is an arrangement which presents nothing that will pose any problems to those who have reached a competent Grade 4 or 5 standard. The melodic appeal of this piece, combined with its brevity (a mere five lines in the arrangement), leaves us, understandably, wanting more to play than we are given, and consequently the only fault I find with this small offering is that it is not accompanied by at least another five works from the same collection. Joe McGowan (Classical Guitar)
SPELA GITARR arrangements by Lars Melander. Vol. 1 12 pages; Vol. 2 11 pages; Vol. 3 11 pages; Vol. 4 16 pages. The Spela Gitarr are four volumes of a variety of music for classical guitar. The first is relatively easy, around the Grade 2 mark and the last is quite a bit harder. They are all something of a lucky dip. At the beginning are pleasant arrangements of songs like If you're happy and you know it clap your hands and Blue Moon and many Scandinavian items. In the second volume a piece by Carulli and Greensleeves are added to the diet. By the fourth volume Irving Berlin is represented along with a solo version of the first movement of Vivaldi's concerto in D. I think there could be a lot of fun to be had in these books.
JULMELODIER arranged by Lars Melander. 26 pages. Da Capo Music Prod. Julmelodier is a book of Christmas carol arrangements. There are 36 of them and they are effective enough. Chord symbols are added and there is a separate booklet included of the words for each using original languages. Again there is a strong bias towards Scandinavian material. Most pupils at some stage or other in their career want to try out Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer and so this book is as good as any. There is, though, very little below the Grade 2 level. Sarah Clarke (Classical Guitar)
Latin American Guitar
It is especielly good to see the name of Julio Sagreras represented, usually only associated with his six volume set of lessons and studies and of course El Colibri. The pieces played by Lars Melander confirm Sagreras' melodic flair and his natural feel for what the guitar does easily (the instrument, not the player).
While Melander handles all the material well, it is when he is in direct comparison with other performances that he doesn't come out best. For instance while he plays Falú's El sueno de mi Guitarra th sensitivity he hasn't the brhytmic ease with witch Falú himself plays.
Melander does however compare well others in his performance of Ginastera's Sonata Op. 47. His playing is incisive, his development of Ginastera's lines has logic and one is carried along with the musical development of the piece.
Overall a CD which gives more pleasure with repeated listenings, the choice of programme is to be applauded; and what a turnabout for the Ginastera's Sonata to have to be thought of as a familiar piece on the programme. Maybe the guitar is moving forward!
John Arran  (Classical Guitar)

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