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From Classical Guitar Magazine March 1999
Tiny Trios for Guitar Ensemble
(Books 1 and 2) by Derek Hasted
CORDA MUSIC. Each book: 8 page score and 4 page parts

Here are two volumes ideally suited to players at around Grade 1 level, single lines with plenty of interest for everyone. Wisely, there is no fingering, so that the notes must be read rather than finger-led, and this absence also affords the opportunity of playing in higher positions without visual distraction. The arranger's note positively encourages this, as well as decision making in terms of tone/dynamics where again I agree. Some occasional whimsical harmonisation does nothing other than spice things up a little, keeping everyone on their toes, but essentially the tunes flow as might be expected. With four works per volume, including pieces such as The Vicar of Bray and Oh dear! What can the matter be? in Book 1 and The Lass of Richmond Hill and What if a day or a month or a year? in book 2, these little trios (or ensembles, as Corda provide two copies of each part) will certainly help to provide a valuable early grounding in various aspects of fundamental musicianship.

Classical Guitar Magazine's Copyright is aknowledged. Do not copy this review.

Click for Tiny Trios 1 and Tiny Trios 2 (this site) | Classical Guitar Magazine (external)


From Classical Guitar Magazine May 1999
Diff'rent Dances for guitar trio/large ensemble by Derek Hasted
CORDA MUSIC. Score 12 pages. Parts 4 pages each.

If you can get past the punning titles you will discover here some well written ensemble music. Canariosity is indeed in 6/8, bouncy, with guitars 1 and 2 at approximately the same level and guitar 3 somewhat easier - always a good idea, this, for those with less nimble fingers or poor sightreading skills. 20-40 Vision is rather more tricky in its rhythms, but more fun too, I'd say; its offbeat "with a shuffle" is also very useful for developing this aspect of playing.
Courante Affair is pretty straightforward, while Fundango only requires dash and humour to bring it off.
Such repertoire has a positive place in the development of our instrument - single line work, small chords, a little upper fingerboard study, a good balance across the group...and always with such material, the opportunity to do something with it. Just because ensemble music can be technically easy - and this should mostly be accessible to Grade 2+ players - it doesn't mean that's the end of it. It's what makes it harder in some respects; you have to work with your colleagues. The very simplicity invites players to get under the skin of the music, and that opportunity is what recommends it.

Classical Guitar Magazine's Copyright is aknowledged. Do not copy this review.

Click for Diff'rent Dances 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (this site) | Classical Guitar Magazine (external)