A six-note arpeggiated gentle jazz chord opens this piece – the lower three forces playing two notes each. Splitting the workload like this can sometimes cause timing issues, but this is easy, with each part entering on the beat. Guitar 1 opens with a motif at six-notes-a-second and a slurred decoration at three times that speed. Turning the page on the full score reveals a plethora of flats and naturals that have to be liberated from the guitar at the same heady rate. Those who require conscious thought to recall where Db sits might want stop here, because this piece needs fluency that only comes with experience. But I see you are still reading, so let’s explore further. Some of the chromaticism is there to create a moment of tension that is released when the home key-chord is reasserted. Elsewhere it leads us on a merry dance through some inspiring key changes – the rounded resonance of Bb is a thrilling excursion from the brightness of G, especially when done effortlessly. Indeed, I’d like to hear this at a slightly slower tempo so that palette of evolving chords can be savoured instead of swallowed unchewed.Throughout the piece Guitar 1 keeps up a relentless pace, painting a picture of a road that a pedestrian is going to have real problems in crossing. A Grade 3 player could manage Guitar 4, but Guitar 1 needs a good Grade 8 player to be able to tackle six-notes-a-second at fret 19.
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)