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Marek Tabisz : Latino Christmas – Book 1 - for Guitar Quartet : Bergmann



Trad: Arranged Marek Tabisz

Bergmann: score and separate parts (16, 4, 4, 4, and 4 pages respectively)


Polish guitarist Marek Tabisz has here chosen four carols that are not so well known, and because they have their own particular sound – world, are very enjoyable to most players. Not only that these quartets are only moderately difficult, and a decent quartet will manage to get their fingers around these lovely pieces with little trouble

El Buen Rabadan, a carol from Catalonia is set as a 6/8 Dm piece with the fourth guitar having a dropped D 6th, and who plays a single note bass line largely consisting of dotted crotchets throughout this little song. The third guitar is entirely a sequence of arpeggiated chords all in first position, whilst the first two guitars play the melody and a harmony line throughout.

En El Portal de Belen is a carol from Estremadura and is an Alla Marcia in E Major, very upbeat and optimistic. The fourth guitar, as before, plays a bass line, with, this time the 2nd and 3rd guitars sharing a harmony and/or chordal accompaniment part with the melody in guitar 1.Again nearly all of the music is in first position, with the top part going up to fret 7 on string one for a moment in the melody.

Vamos Pastorcillos (Let’s go, little shepherds) is a carol from Argentina, marked Vivo and set in G Major. This one is a tad harder than the first two, having multiple moments of percussion in all but the top part, at some point of other in the piece. These parts are carefully explained but definitely require a little more work for the players than Nos 1 and 2.Having said that it is a lovely dancing piece full of off – beat accents and lots of fun to play. Here the top part reaches fret 15 and spends a great deal of the time in the higher frets and at one point has two voices, albeit not difficult.

The final piece, Para Pedir Posada, a Mexican carol is in D Major and is the fastest of the four. It starts off in 3 / 4 moving halfway through to 4/4. It is a happy , and very enjoyable a piece, with , as before, guitars 2 and 3 providing harmonic and chordal accompaniment to guitar 1’s melody, and the bass part reserved for guitar 4. Nearly all of it is in first position, but guitar one again goes up to a top D at several points, but that is all.

These are lovely little quartets, full of great tunes and requiring only modest playing to make them sound wonderful, with No3 just needing that greater care and attention because of all the percussive sections. Therefore I could see a modest group of players, whether it be 4 or several to a part, having lots of fun playing thee, and a Christmas concert with such pieces as these, could only brighten up the proceedings a little more. Great fun!


Chris Dumigan

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