“This substantial edition comprises six Lieder and the helpful programme notes explain that these are not simply a distribution of the original notes across four guitars but a re-work that not only suits a guitar quartet but which incorporates guitar-specific effects, not so much as a substitute for the textures of the original, but to re-interpret the music. For example: campanella, pizzicato, ponti, harmonics and more are used to broaden the guitar’s palette to excellent effect. The music itself is delightful, varied and not so challenging as to be debilitating. The writing is lush and free, but not so overtly black on the page that it becomes intractable. Across the set of six varied pieces, there is nothing that a Grade 8 player would blanch at, though at this level of player, achieving the speed and fluency of the original might prove a challenge. Given a little more experience and technique, these are very playable quartets and very much in keeping with the Tetra Quartet’s style of flamboyant dynamics and little bursts of percussion on the side of the guitar, so if you like Tetra’s ‘house style’, you’ll find these pieces a worthy purchase. The pieces in this collection are Von der Jugend (given a wonderful far-eastern flavour that’s quite exquisite). Waltz (Symphony No 2). let atmet’ einen linden Dujt, Des Antonius von Padu Fischpredigt, Um Mitternacht and Uindler (Symphony No 1). The part scores have either no page turns, or ones that are clearly carefully chosen, and all the (perhaps unfamiliar) German performance indications are translated. As one might expect, this is not an SATB arrangement, and each of the parts uses the full compass of the instrument and has its own moments of glory. This edition features on Tetra’s CD ‘About Time’, and if you search YouTube you’ll find CG’s own Guy Traviss interviewing Tetra about the album (and you will hear snippets of this particular part of the album). The standard of the edition is exemplary, not only because of the clarity of the page, but because of all the supporting information – something that some editions clearly think is a waste of paper when it’s the very opposite.”
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)
“Mahler Lieder is a suite of arrangements and reworkings of songs and symphony movements by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).
Rather than making straight transcriptions, Stephen Goss transforms the music to suit the idiom of four guitars, drawing on some of the implicit influences on Mahler’s work. In Von der Jugend, Steve makes the most of the Far Eastern flavour of Mahler’s score by imitating the plucked string instruments of Japan and China – koto, guzheng, and pipa. The Waltz and Ländler draw on the folk music of Bohemia, which slips effortlessly onto the open tuning of the guitar, and in Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft, Steve attempts to capture the delicate fragrance of the lime described in the song with a fragile campanella texture. The sardonic Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt is reharmonised and decorated with rasgueados, and Um Mitternacht is left sparse and spare to evoke the desolation of Rückert’s poem.
Mahler Lieder was commissioned by the International Mahler Centenary Conference, UK (IMCC), and the Brno International Guitar Festival, Czech Republic for the Tetra Guitar Quartet. The first performance took place at the IMCC on 8th July 2011. The work has been recorded by Tetra on the album About Time (BGS 2013). Mahler Lieder is dedicated to the memory of former Tetra member Richard Hand (1960-2011).”