Guitar Trios

Guitar Trios
Like the duet pieces this music comes from a variety of sources.

Emmanuel Adriaenssen (c1554 - 1604)
Flemish lutenist, teacher and composer. Went to Rome to study music in 1574. Lute virtuoso; published three books in French lute tablature of fantasias, vocal intabulations dances.
(Spiessens, 2001)

Donna Crudel [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
This piece is found in Adrienssen’s publication Pratum Musicum (1584) as an intabulation for three lutes of a vocal piece by the Italian composer Giovanni Ferretti (c1540 - 1609). There is a modern edition on Sarge Gerbode’s site of lute pieces and I have have used this to prepare this arrangement. [I’m not sure what the title means - apparently nothing in modern Italian, but perhaps it means Cruel Lady in renaissance language?]. The noticeable passing discords seem to be intended, as is the ending on the dominant, which sounds odd to modern ears. My arrangement simplifies the original by removing some notes that appear in more than one part.

Thomas Farmer
Little is known of the 17th century English musician, a contemporary of Henry Purcell.
Overture [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
Originally for strings; somewhat like Purcell in style.

Alfonso Ferrabosco I (1543 - 1588) About…
Unnamed piece [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
This piece from one of the Holmes lute books was written as a lute solo. It is tricky to play up to speed as guitar solo, but it makes an enjoyable trio.

William Lawes (1602-1645)
Lawes was an English Composer of both sacred and secular music whose professional life was spent in the service of King Charles I and whose death occurred on active service with the Royalist army during the Civil War. His brother, Henry, was also a successful composer. [More about...... ]

This piece is found in a Consort (No. 12) for Harp, Violin, Bass Viol and Theorbo and I have made this arrangement from an edition by the musicologist Arthur J Ness* (I have chosen not to follow the barring structure in Ness’s edition, but to bar the whole piece in 4/4 as it is then easier to follow.)
*This used to be available on his Verizon website, but disappeared when Verizon decommissioned their Site Builder service in 2014.

Marin Marais (1656 -1728)
French composer and viol player. Studied with the bass viol player Sainte-Colombe and became a virtuoso viol player. Member of the Opéra orchestra in Paris while Jean Baptiste Lully was director from whom he received training in composition; later became conductor of the Opéra orchestra. Composed numerous works for solo viol with continuo and a number of suites for two and three viols. (Gorce & Milliot, 2001)

Suite in E minor [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
Part 1 [
PDF] Part 2 [PDF] Part 3 [PDF]
This suite is from a set of suites published in 1692 for two treble instruments and bass continuo. Performance at the time would have included harpsichord or theorbo accompaniment but it sounds perfectly satisfactory as a trio. Anyone who wishes to reconstruct the continuo accompaniment can find the suite at

Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
Two in One Upon a Ground [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
This chaconne is a transcription of music from Purcell’s semi-opera Dioclesian.

Christoph Schaffrath (1709 - 1763)
German keyboard player; he was in royal service at the court of Frederick the Great and later Princess Amalia. He composed a wide range of chamber and orchestral works. His main interest lay in keyboard music, and various collections of his sonatas (for keyboard alone and keyboard with melody instrument) were published during his lifetime. Most of his sonatas are in three movements with the standard fast–slow–fast arrangement. (Drummond, 2001)

Sonata in G major [PDF] [MIDI] [XML]
Part 1 [
PDF] Part 2 [PDF] Part 3 [PDF]
This suite was written for viola da gamba and harpsichord.


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