Richard Lambert Music

Three Dialogues (Op.12)

A three movement suite for flute, solo guitar and guitar ensemble, using a mixture of styles – including pseudo Irish folk, popular music and atonality

  1. Allegro commodo
  2. Larghetto
  3. Vivace

This three-movement work is for solo flute, solo guitar and four-part guitar ensemble.

It was commissioned by Peter Rueffer, director of the Pulborough Guitar Summer School, and given its first performance there on August 19 1988.

It was decided that the flute would add a colourful contrast to the timbre of a large guitar ensemble.

The first movement is an arrangement of 7 Up (Op.12 No.1a), a piece written for the unusual combination of seven trumpets. It is constructed in an extended ternary structure in an overall D modal minor key, with the central section in B flat major.

The piece borrows from a mixture of styles: part Irish pseudo-folk in the dorian mode; part jazz, with syncopated rhythm and 'blue' notes; and part popular music with simple tonic-bass harmony (albeit with an individual style of juxtaposing chords).

The introspective second movement, using the Aeolian mode, is a much thinner texture and highlights the two soloists engaging in dialogue (more so here than in the outer movements).

Using a gently-lilting 6/8 metre for the most part, the structure is loosely ternary, but develops the initial material throughout.

The finale reverts to an extrovert mood, with the guitar ensemble playing a fuller part, melodically and rhythmically as well as providing harmonic support.

Beginning and ending in F major, it is based on a continually developed upward-rising scalic figure, the proponents all engaging in dialogue, using the composer's favoured style of employing 'remote' chording within a key.


  1. 19 August 1988 Lodge Hill Residential Centre, Pulborough, (West Sussex, UK) 1988 Pulborough Guitar Summer School, Simeon Wood (flute), Simon Munting (solo guitar) & 16 guitarists, including Peter Rueffer and Cornelius Bruinsma, Richard Lambert (conductor)


This composition is a truly modern piece, full of rhythmic effects which contrasted with soft melodic passages of romantic beauty.

Stephan Schmidt, Classical Guitar magazine, December 1988



This recording of Three Dialogues was performed by Pulborough Guitar Ensemble in August 1988.


You can view and purchase the score of Three Dialogues from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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