BWW Review: MEMORIES OF SPAIN Brought A Hint Of Andalusian Summer To Adelaide's Winter

Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Saturday 13th August 2016

I defy anybody to listen to the music of Spain without experiencing a noticeable lifting of their spirits. Memories of Spain, featuring Francisco Bernier, and the duo of Massimo Scattolin and Sergio Ercole, brought a burst of Latino summer warmth to Adelaide's late winter.

Italy's Massimo Scattolin and Australia's Italian born Sergio Ercole opened the concert, with Memories of Spain, from their album, From Italy to Argentina, a work written by Scattolin referencing other's works as well as incorporating themes of his own composition It was a most evocative work and superbly played by the duo.

Being a great lover of the Tango, both the music and the dance, Scattolin's arrangement of the great Argentinean composer, Astor Piazzolla's Las cuatro estaciones porteñas (Four Seasons), really brought a smile to my face. The original was for guitar and string orchestra, and Piazzolla dedicated the work to Scattolin. His affinity for Piazzolla's remarkable compositional skills was evident in Scattolin's performance, as it was, too, in that of Ercole.

Artistic Director of the Seville Guitar Festival, and a most impressive guitarist, Francisco Bernier, presented the second half of the concert, music by five composers exposing the breadth of styles in Spanish music.

He began with the Introduction, Theme and Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9 by Fernando Sors, Mzart's theme being Theme O Cara Armonia. This famous piece has been in the repertoires of many great guitarists and yet it is always a pleasure to hear it again, especially when played so beautifully. He followed this with Manuel M. Ponce's Sonata III, a delicate piece full of inventive ideas.

Joaquín Turina's Sonata en re menor Op. 61, offers immense internal variety and some explosive bursts of colour and leads nicely into Seleccion de piezas de Vademecum (selection of pieces of Vademecum), Vadecum being a work of 24 pieces for guitar by Anton García Abril. These four short pieces were from Cuaderno 1, numbers 3, 6, 11, and 12, providing another fine selection of pieces displaying the many aspects of Spanish music.

To end his concert he turned to his interpretations of Francisco Tárrega's (1852-1909) Gran Jota de Concierto, a wide ranging piece with passages of elegance, then of passion, and some lightning fast runs, harmonics, and generally demanding a high level of technique, bringing the fire of Spain to Adelaide's winter.



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From This Author Barry Lenny

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