Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Gig-a-Blog™ (Christopher Evesham, St Anne & St Agnes)

Friday, 14 September 2007

Chris Evesham guitar. Works by John Dowland, Joaquin Rodrigo, Joaquin Turina & Agustin Barrios (it says here).

Christopher Evesham is a guitarist who not only plays beautifully but also comes across with great personal charm. He does good introductions with interesting composer backgrounds and the like, and in his playing he really knows how to tell a story in music, or let it tell itself.

  • Villa-Lobos's Prelude No. 1 is one of those pieces that takes me by surprise: at first I think I don't know it but then in comes the Big Tune and I go "doh!" because it's incredibly familiar.
  • (Maybe I should explain that for a knuckle-dragging trumpet player I know more guitar music, and have more guitar records and CDs, than you'd perhaps expect. This is because my Bruvver, the very wonderful Dr Dave, plays the guitar, so I've been exposed to this distinctly unbrassbandlike cultural influence since a relatively tender age.)
  • Three pieces by Barrios: Evesham tells us that Barrios had a successful career as a guitarist in South America. Well good luck to him. I've had a Barrios LP for years and really love it.
  • Julia Florida was engaging and songlike; it sounds contemplative but happy. Fantastic warmth and fulness of tone. Just gorgeous
  • Mazurka Appassionata: does what it says on the tin. Very nice.
  • Un Sueno en la Floresta: a dream in a magic garden / forest. Beautiful. Fabulous tremelo and lots of clever harmonics.
  • We then heard about the Spanish influence in the guitar repertoire - the role of Segovia and so on. This led on to Granados' Le Maja de Goya which was certainly revelling in its Spanishness. I loved a particular effect, a clever short bass pop thing that is sort of thunked and instantly stopped, a bit like slap bass. So you get fantastic contrasts between this and when it is allowed to resonate. Almost a dark/comedy effect. Lovely piece! Nice almost-waltz tune.
  • Turina's Fandanguillo: very Spanish - full of "effects". Some fruity harmony with lots of Added Somethings. Yes Colin, added fruit, if you must, but actually I meant ninths or thirteenths or whatever. This piece was nice enough but not my fave rave.
  • Koshkin, Usher Waltz: the most contemporary piece in this concert. It refers to the E.A. Poe story of the Fall of the House of Usher and aims at the style of the great piano waltzes eg Liszt, says the composer. My notes say, "Unusual ideas. Slap effects. Madness depicted." Sounds great, eh? Actually it's very enjoyable - one for the CD rack, if it's been recorded.

All in all this was a great concert and Christopher Evesham a bit of a star.

Sorry this blog entry's a bit late, bitty and messy. As noted elsewhere it was written up after the passage of more time than is wise.

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