Scott Joplin - Solace - a Mexican Serenade (guitar duet - digit download)

Scott Joplin (1868-1917) is the father of ragtime, and as such a huge influence on the development of American — indeed worldwide &mdash popular music. Solace is one of his later published works. Although Joplin frequently instructs the player that "it is never right to play 'Ragtime' fast", here the tempo indication is quite explicitly slow — aim for a quarter-note of around mm 50. The languid syncopations and delicate chromaticism are enhanced by the necessary compromise, in arranging for guitars, of bringing the melodies and the accompanying patterns into closer proximity: with a careful ear for balance in performance, the effect is magical.