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Guitar Concert Rescued at Short Notice

Published on: 20 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 23 Oct, 2022

By Gillian Lloyd

Three distinguished young guitarists stepped in to rescue a guitar concert at Holy Trinity Church when Paul Galbraith, a renowned innovative classical guitarist, was struck with Covid.

The three were fortuitously available as they were taking part in an event at the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey.

The Italian Flavio Nati, whose performance was notable for his sensitive phrasing, gave us music by Couperin, Barrios (demonstrating the guitar’s
contrapuntal possibilities), Villa-Lobos and Tárrega (using evocative tremolo), finishing with a sprightly March by Lully.

Katalin Koltai

Katalin Koltai, from Hungary, brought along her ‘Ligeti’ guitar, whose special capo system enables large stretches impossible on a conventional instrument. Katalin used the instrument to dramatic effect in Bartók’s ‘The Night Music’, contrasting it with Chopin’s ‘Berceuse’, and a transcribed piano piece by Kurtág, making use of percussive effects.

Another Italian, Giacomo Copiello, plays an eight-string ‘Brahms’ guitar, which he holds almost like a cello, and whose extra sonority enabled a wide range of tone colours in his transcription of a Bach keyboard toccata.

It was less successful in Mozart’s piano sonata no. 17, where the melody line tended to be obscured by the rich sound of the bass, but three Schubert Lieder came across well, especially ‘Ständchen’, in the original of which the piano actually imitates a guitar.

The three performers as well as Professor Stephen Goss (International Guitar Research Centre) and Jonathan Hennessey-Brown are to be congratulated on putting together such an enjoyable concert at such short notice.

Hennessey Brown Music’s next event, again at Holy Trinity Church, takes place on Friday, December 9 at 7.30pm, and will be a will be a Christmas Carol Concert given by Vasari Singers and conducted by local favourite Jeremy Backhouse.

Guildford-born Jonathan Hennessey-Brown will be guest cello soloist; Andrew Thompson, who recently sang at the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II, will sing the baritone solo in Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and local composer Will Todd will be featured.

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