Taken from Classical Guitar, June 1984

SEA SONG Op. 8 for flute and guitar by David Carroll

Hampton Facsimile Guitar Editions HF053.

Flute and guitar duos would be well advised to have a look at this piece of five minutes duration, composed in 1983. It is in an accessible and very descriptive style, with a flavour of folk song. One might venture to say that possible influences could be Vaughn Williams or Delius.

The form is a simple A B A, the return of A employing embellishment in both parts. The texture is that of melody and accompaniment: all melodic material is retained by the flute, the guitar acting entirely in a supporting role. This is not to say that the guitar part isn't interesting, as it has it's share to do in the way of block and broken chords. The composer certainly has a very nice melodic and harmonic sense. In relation to the former, he writes in clearly defined phrases, using a wide palette of intervals.

Regarding the latter, there is a balance of the expected and the unexpected. Interest is sustained throughout the work by not only the above, but also through rhythmic variety, much use of campanella on the guitar amiable chromaticisim, and occasional ornamentation.

It is sympathetically written for both instruments, and note that the trouble has been taken to put in suggested breathing points for the flautist. There are no real difficulties for the guitar; requirements are a good barré and broken chord technique, and a reasonable stretch. The fingering is good, bar numbers are provided, as well as a full complement of dynamic and other indications. Separate parts are included. If the score is to be used, page turns are not optimum but can be done with reasonable ease by the flautist. The copying is in a neat hand, printing clean and uncrowded.

A delightful little piece, brimming with character, and warmly recommended.

Gregory Newton

Taken from Guitar, January 1982

'Irish Suite' for Two Guitars by David Carroll

Northampton Guitar Studios. pp11.

These pieces are quite straightforward versions of Irish folk music: two reels, two jigs, a hornpipe and an air. The work is fairly easy and should appeal to budding young duettists. The parts are just sufficiently complex to encourage the players to listen to each other. For the jigs, the second guitar is tuned to 6 = D. The air, 'The Gentle Maiden', is the most attractive, with a good singing melody. For much of the time, the second guitar takes an accompanying role, but both parts require approximately equal technique. This work serves well as part of the student repertoire.

Graham Pick

Taken from Classical Guitar, April 1985

SIX QUARTETS Op. 21 by David Carroll

Hampton Music Publishers HF066.

People strolling round my garden and admiring various plants sometimes enquire their names; if I'm the only one around at the time they will invariably be disappointed as I can barely differentiate the horizontal from the vertical in this respect - the trees start where the grass stops, and that's about it. Strange; for I really do enjoy the great outdoors. So when David Carroll's book of guitar quartets arrived for review the individual titles would have meant nothing to me except for the attractive cover showing six small flowers , each with it's label. Each is an attractive piece, commencing with a melodic Celandine which sets the tone for what is to follow - single lines of music for each player, well balanced and interesting for all concerned. Grade 3 guitarists would have little to fear, and yet the compositions are sufficiently pleasing to give pleasure to more advanced performers.

Grade 3 guitarists would have little to fear, and yet the compositions are sufficiently pleasing to give pleasure to more advanced performers. Heartsease includes some staccato for two guitars only, and then for the four guitars together in Lords and Ladies - this is effective.

Included in the price is a complete score and the individual parts for each player, with no page turning problems. The set is one of Hampton's facsimile editions and I can say that David Carroll's hand is very clear and graceful, a pleasure to read. He has managed to achieve a very decent variety of keys and time signatures, and has included plenty of marks of expression which will enhance the pieces when properly adhered to. Bar numbers are given throughout. The Six Quartets (the remaining titles are Ragged Robin, Meadowsweet and Wintergreen) will doubtless give pleasure and good ensemble experience for guitar society evenings, and will also be valuable to tutors on courses and workshops - I will certainly use them in this context.

Chris Kilvington