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ProductsSheet Music for Guitar4 GuitarsMarche militaire, opus 51, no. 1, D. 733

Marche militaire, opus 51, no. 1, D. 733

Marche militaire, opus 51, no. 1, D. 733

Composer: SCHUBERT F.

Arranger: SPARKS Jeremy

DO 710


ISBN: 978-2-89503-486-5

4 guitars

24 p. + separated parts
Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan


My mistake was reading the score while listening to an eight-hands piano quartet version, because when I picked up’ the guitar my disappointment was not in the arrangement but in the sheer lack of brilliance and depth compared to what I’d just heard. I went for a coffee to clear my head and tried again with the guitar, and I’m glad I did. It’s set in A rather than D, and two guitars are tuned down to D, so the principal bass notes are all available as deep notes.
Taken at a marching speed, rather than the virtuosic tempi that some pianists do, it’s very much under the fingers, though it does go a little high here and there, but in short, manageable, bursts. The spread of pitches does mean that the sound is pleasingly bright and uncluttered, and most of the writing is single-note.
The opportunity is taken to share out the workload, and in the Trio section, Guitars One and Two accompany Three and Four, and everyone in the ensemble has bursts of semiquavers. This means it’s best suited to an ensemble of players of roughly equal ability. What might that ability be? Well, Grade 5 players would be quite at ease with the technical efforts required, but a little more facility would allow the piece to trip along without sounding laboured.
The score is rich with dynamics but devoid of fingerings, and this really isn’t a problem. As a concert item for a school ensemble, it has a certain familiarity to it that will connect with the audience, and although not a piece that shows all facets of the guitar’s palette, it most certainly doesn’t leave one feeling that the guitar isn’t well suited to the music. If you like Schubert, this won’t disappoint, though if you don’t like Schubert, I suspect it won’t change your mind. It’s a solid arrangement that would give a teacher some good opportunities to teach form and the concepts of articulation, imitation and dynamic range.
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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