Classical Guitar Concert Essay
The concert, which I want to react on, took place in September 2006, in the Auditorium of a church in my native city. It was the performance of a famous classical guitarist of Cuban origin, Manuel Barrueco, who is recognized in our mass media as “..one of the premiere classical guitarists of today” (Urban Guitar, 2006). Before this concert I had no opportunity to listen to classical guitar music properly, neither live nor from a recording, but I was very much interested and made up my mind to attend this performance.
The program of the concert included the following compositions: Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001, Adagio, Fuga, Siciliana, and Presto by J.S. Bach (trans. by Barrueco), Tango Etudes (one, two, three, four, and six) by Piazzolla/ Barrueco, Fandanguillo, Op. 36; Sevillana (Fantasia), Op.29 by Turina and Suite Espanola, Op.47 (Granada, Cadiz, Asturias, Cataluna and Sevilla) by Albeniz.
The performance was wonderful and I truly enjoyed listening to Barrueco’s playing during the whole two hours long program.
Though in the beginning Barrueco’s guitar arrangements of Bach sounded to me a little bit heavy, gloomy and depressing, the following compositions, especially Spanish melodies, proved to be lighter and more cheerful. All the pieces were performed with incomparable drive and elegance, and I believe that it was the finest stage performance I’ve ever seen.
Manuel Barrueco impressed me, first of all, with his amazing techniques and lightness of his guitar playing. It was a solo performance, but the guitar sound was so homophonic, rich and overwhelming, that from time to time it was hard to believe that it was the sound of only one musical instrument. When listening to Barrueco’s playing, I felt like the music, with its miniature guitar passages and dynamic arpeggios, accompanied with interchanging elements of harmonies and rhythm, was creating a nostalgic mosaic in my mind and bringing me back to some special memories and feelings from my childhood.
In addition, it was very pleasant to watch the performer. His playing was exceptionally sincere, free and very passionate. I could not help noticing that Barrueco is very experienced musician in playing live, because he perfectly knows how to keep the attention of the audience focused not only on his playing, but also on his special reactions, emotional responses, looks, gestures and so on.
The last pieces of the concert, Sevillana and Suite Espanola, were truly brilliant. Spanish guitar improvisations sounded very energetic, melodic and vivid. Classic Spanish tunes, decorated with triad-based arpeggios and musical ornamentation of Baroque era, were turned by this talented instrumentalist into extravagant masterpieces with expressive musical forms and bright harmonic colors. I found those melodies very exciting and moving. That music made me take a glimpse into temperamental Spanish musical folklore, with its thrilling accelerating rhythms of fiery flamenco and fandango.
In fact, all those exclusive melodious arrangements of Barrueco were performed with captivating frankness and professionalism. This widely recognized guitarist proved to be an extremely gifted and elegant musician, whose magic aura captured the hearts of the audience and made all the spectators unite in the highest appreciation of the sacredness of his guitar music. Also, I was pretty much impressed with Barrueco’s talent to choose a good repertoire, because all the compositions in his program were very different, but at the same time, they sounded perfect when taken in their entirety.
Barrueco is a real guitar virtuoso! Los Angeles Times music critics called him “A major artist with remarkable musicianship and a world of technique… simply and consistently – awesome!” (The Manuel Barrueco Homepage, 2006). After visiting this concert and listening to Barrueco’s bright, imaginative arrangements and brilliant playing, I totally agree with this statement. In addition, having attended this performance, I am especially glad to realize that I have opened for myself a new interesting piece of musical art: classical guitar.
· Bay of Barrueco. (2006, December 5). Urban Guitar. Boom Design Inc. Retrieved April 16, 2007, from <http://urbanguitar.com/main_stage/articles/bay_of_barrueco>.
· Manuel Barrueco. (2006, April 5). The Manuel Baruecco Homepage. Retrieved April 16, 2007, from the World Wide Web: <http://www.barrueco.com/ >.
· Musicians in Their Own Words: Manuel Barrueco. (2007). National Public Radio. Internet Audio-Archive. Retrieved April 16, 2007, from the World Wide Web: <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4514049>.
· The Classical Guitar Network. (n.d.). The Classical Guitar Network. Ed. Robin Thomson. Retrieved April 16, 2007, from <http://theclassicalguitar.ning.com/>.