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'A golden time ...' from Ariadne auf Naxos (Guitar Solo)

Strauss, Richard

Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)

Strauss's music amounts to a huge body of symphonic and operatic work written over 60 years. Full of vitality, endlessly melodic, brilliantly orchestrated, it begins and ends in the romantic tradition, but for the most part expresses something more modern and individualistic, not without controversy in its time. Variation of style and structure is drawn from the descriptive (literary) nature of compositions, and an extraordinary inventiveness enlivens the scenes, moods and situations. Strauss said once that he produced music the way cows give milk, and indeed his music rarely seems contrived.

The opera

Strauss wrote 15 operas on a variety of subjects and across the whole spectrum of drama. He acknowledged being enchanted by the soprano voice, and his writing for it highlights many of the works, including Adriane auf Naxos (composed in 1912). The opera has been described as 'sparkling', which sums it up well, and passages influenced by Bach, Mozart, Puccini, and Wagner add to the interest. The storyline is a play within a play, the second part being the mythological 'Opera' staged in the story. The three pieces transcribed* are from this Opera.

The guitar arrangements

All classical guitar pieces are compromises. The instrument has only six strings, the left hand four fingers able to be used, and with the right hand it's rare to use more than three fingers and the thumb. So, despite the amount of noise possible, it's inevitable that passages occur where either harmony, bass or fragments of counterpoint that would be beneficial are left out. In particular, the higher up the neck music is played the simpler it tends to be, if harder to play, and unless the low bass is an open string there wont be any.

So I think the main part of attaining a fair transcription (better to be called an arrangement if the original musical structure is not strictly followed, as in this case) is determining how a good compromise can be reached. Melody, counterpoint, bass and main harmonies demand inclusion, and register is important. One may generally assume the original score can't be improved on. However, if the music may sound well on guitar, and the above elements can be incorporated without the playing becoming very difficult, something enjoyable to play and worthwhile listening to should be able to be achieved. 

Overture; 'A golden time …'

 Here the Mozart influence, better, inspiration, is wonderfully evident. A gentle waltz time (only the first section of the overture is transcribed) carries the colourful harmonies, strong melodic threads and connecting flourishes that stamp both pieces. The aria is alluded to in the Overture several times, which as you would expect, is intricately woven with the hints themes later to be established in the Opera. It has a kind of 'jazzy' freedom, and it's always miraculous to me that composition so involved can retain its musical line, here done in Strauss's inimitable way. The aria, sung not far into the Opera, has the perfect inevitability of Mozart, but again it is Strauss. As explained, keys have been changed to suit the guitar.

Chorus and Aria

This selection from the finale has features well worth trying to translate. The device of having a strong chorus, in the style of a Bach chorale, stated and then counterpointed by a solo voice in a restatement, is potent, and that in the opera the chorus (of the three nymphs) isn't immediately followed by the accompanying aria (of Ariadne) means the latter comes as a moment of surprising beauty. Neither parts are complicated, and lovely arpeggios, a feature Strauss's music, often impart the assured progressions. 

A problem was to capture the distinct register of the soprano voices, some statements of which would seem non-negotiable even without knowing the soprano voice was a passion of Strauss's. This could only be done, as intimated above, with some simplification. However the sound was worth working for, and fortunately the repetitive nature of the piece allowed for sections to be played at various registers to good effect, the higher producing the excruciating soprano harmonies.

Also, the original is in Db, so by raising the key a semitone I was able to utilise the guitar's D tuning as a full sounding configuration on which to arrange the piece. I'm fond of harmonics and open strings (in fact, arresting sounds in general) and used them where appropriate (or as sometimes, necessary).

Rod Whittle

* Overture; 'A golden time'; Chorus and Aria

$2.50  

A Christmas Medley (Guitar Quartet)

Traditional

“A Christmas Medley” contains engaging treatments of three well-know carols: “Here We Come A-Wassailing”, “The Huron Carol” and “I Saw Three Ships”. Special effects (harmonics, percussion and snare drum effect) help keep students engaged and interest and colour. Merry Christmas!

$6.00   $7.50 Sale

A Christmas Offering (Guitar Trio)

Traditional

A few of my holiday favourites. Merry Christmas!

$4.76   $5.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Cello and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for guitar and cello duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$11.96   $14.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Flute and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for guitar and flute duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$11.96   $14.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Flute, Oboe and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for flute, oboe and guitar.  Merry Chistmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$15.16   $18.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Guitar Duo)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for beginning guitar duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Parts are not provided as all selections are only one page long or less. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$7.16   $8.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Guitar Quartet)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for beginning guitar quartet. Repetition and variation can be achieved by playing the melody in unison, improvising verses with percussion, etc. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$19.60   $24.50 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Guitar Solo)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for the beginning guitarist and can be utilized in a variety of ways: They can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. The guitarist who is just starting out can play the basic melodies by playing all the 'stems up' notes. A duet can be achieved by assigning one person to 'stems up', the other, 'stems down'. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$4.76   $5.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Guitar Trio)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for beginning guitar trio. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$15.16   $18.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Oboe and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for guitar and oboe duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$11.96   $14.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Recorder and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for guitar and recorder duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$11.96   $14.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Violin and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols have been arranged for guitar and violin duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$11.96   $14.95 Sale

A Christmas Primer (Violin, Cello and Guitar)

Traditional

These 15 carols are also complete for violin/cello, violin/guitar, and cello/guitar if the cellist is comfortable reading the violin part. The guitarist has the choice of playing chords (in the violin part - I assume the chord-playing guitarist would like to follow the melody) or playing the part in the score. Leaving enough notes to make the score viable for so many possibilities means there is some doubling of parts: the bass line of the guitar part is often the same as the cello part and the guitar often doubles the violin in the introductions. This will never sound bad, but the discerning ensemble may want to make some adjustments on the fly...Merry Christmas!

Carols included: Coventry Carol, Deck the Hall, The First Noel, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, Here We Come A-Caroling, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, What Child is This?

$15.16   $18.95 Sale

A Folk Song Primer (Guitar Duo)

Traditional

These 15 folk songs have been arranged for beginning guitar duo and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. Notes in brackets are optional. Parts are not provided as all selections are only one page long or less. Table of Contents:

Alouette!

Aura Lee

Early One Morning

Frère Jacques

Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Greensleeves

I's the B'y

Oh, Susannah!

Old MacDonald

Scarborough Fair

Simple Gifts

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain

This Old Man

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Un Canadien Errant

$8.95  

A Folk Song Primer (Guitar Solo)

Traditional

These 15 folk songs have been arranged for the beginning guitarist and can be utilized in a variety of ways: They can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. The guitarist who is just starting out can play the basic melodies by playing all the 'stems up' notes. A duet can be achieved by assigning one person to 'stems up', the other, 'stems down' . Notes in brackets are optional. For a more complete treatment of some of these tunes, see "Songs of Childhood" or the "Progressive Variations" series. Table of Contents:

Alouette!, Aura Lee, Early One Morning, Frère Jacques, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Greensleeves, I's the B'y, Oh, Susannah!, Old MacDonald, Scarborough Fair, Simple Gifts, She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain, This Old Man, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Un Canadien Errant.

$5.95  

A Folk Song Primer (Guitar Trio)

Traditional

These 15 folk songs have been arranged for beginning guitar trio and can be utilized in a couple of ways: they can be played as is or with another guitar (or piano) playing the chords. All have introductions and most have a repeat scheme that offers opportunity for variation by way of dynamics, colour, added percussion, etc. Be creative! Table of Contents:

Alouette!

Aura Lee

Early One Morning

Frère Jacques

Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Greensleeves

I's the B'y

Oh, Susannah!

Old MacDonald

Scarborough Fair

Simple Gifts

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain

This Old Man

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Un Canadien Errant

$18.95  

A La Nanita Nana (Flute and Guitar)

Traditional

$4.76   $5.95 Sale

A La Nanita Nana (Violin and Guitar)

Traditional

$4.76   $5.95 Sale

A La Nanita Nana (Voice and Guitar)

Traditional

$4.76   $5.95 Sale

A Little Schumann, Please... (Guitar Quartet)

Schumann, Robert

These three pieces are from Schumann's "Album for the Young" (piano), and offer beginning ensembles an opportunity to play some very charming Romantic era music. The titles translate roughly as "Wild Rider", "Soldier's March" and "The Happy Farmer Returning from the Fields". 'Munter' means 'cheerful', 'straff' means 'firm' and 'frisch' means 'fresh'.

$7.50  

A Love Song for Cello and Guitar

Love, Kevin

When we're in love, that heady, jazzy feeling makes us want to dance...The cello part has an extra version (free) that is an octave higher for those of you who are really, really in love...

$5.95  

A Love Song for Clarinet and Guitar

Love, Kevin

When we're in love, that heady, jazzy feeling makes us want to dance...

$5.95  

A Love Song for Flute and Guitar

Love, Kevin

When we're in love, that heady, jazzy feeling makes us want to dance - check out this live performance!

$5.95  

A Love Song for Flute, Oboe and Guitar (Flute, Oboe and Guitar)

Love, Kevin

When we're in love, that heady, jazzy feeling makes us want to dance...

$5.95  





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