Pastoral Suite
for Guitar Solo (1993, rev. 2011)
by Ron Hannah

  1. Spanish Afternoon
  2. Song Turning Dark
  3. Rough-Hewn Path
  4. Simple Dance (Bourée)
  5. Deep Grotto

Duration: about 11 minutes

     This is a charming and rewarding work, if I say so myself. It has been edited by two guitarists, Ben Tobiasson and Ernst Birss -- the latter, at long last, having given its premiere public performance and made a recording!

 Obtain the Score from 
 the Canadian Music Centre


Since I am not a classical guitarist (though I once taught myself a few scales and simple tunes on that most expressive of instruments), I rely on such editing to ensure that the
Vocal and Guitar duo round out recital season

...Birss' solo limelight piece, Pastoral
, was written by Canadian composer
Ron Hannah... . One of the movements,
"Deep Grotto", is layered with "shimmering
textures in a minimalist mood. And the voice
comes in a haunting style."

-- The St. Albert Gazette May 18, 2013

notes and their distribution on the fingerboard are playable, as they surely are by now. Ernst commented that he likes playing music written by non-guitarists since it presents new challenges and does not rely on the usual guitarist tricks.

     The suite is in my style of dissonant tonality, very accessible, and the 'Simple Dance' movement is in fact a loving parody of Bach's Bourée from his Lute Suite. The last movement is beautifully expressive and very moving - it even says so in the rather awkward review at right! Ben loved playing it and his wife, who hates all modern music, also admitted that it got to her! You may hear exerpts from recordings of the suite by clicking on the buttons below, and you may purchase or rent the score by clicking on the "Go" button, above.

     I used to give the score away with the stipulation that interested parties inform me of any performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date. As of this writing (April 2017) it had been downloaded 35 times, and not one person has said a word about performances (there must have been at least one, surely?) So now, if you would like the score, please send me an email (below) or visit the Canadian Music Centre site.

1. "Spanish Afternoon" (Birss)

5. "Deep Grotto" (Tobiasson)