This is an outdoor Groupmuse
A live in-person performance in a backyard or another outdoor space. They're casual and friendly, hosted by community members.
Guitar, rustling leaves and a breeze - a magical recipe.
Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Sun, September 10, 2023 3:30 PM, PDT
Be welcomed to our lovely, verdant garden and listen to a most accomplished guitarist sooth you with beautiful Bach.
You know you love coming here, so we look forward to seeing you.
What's the music?
ECHOES OF BACH
The program is dedicated to one of the most influential composers of all time: J. S. Bach.
J. S. Bach - Violin Sonata no. 2, BWV 1003
It is a testament to Bach's genius that his music transcends the boundaries of individual instruments. Originally composed for solo violin, the Second Violin Sonata, BWV 1003, is a work of great technical and emotional depth. While the violin version works perfectly on guitar, it’s worth noting that Bach himself transcribed it for harpsichord in d minor (BWV 964). His keyboard arrangement introduces new voices, particularly bass lines, that were not in the original work for violin. The BWV 964 version is a fantastic reference when arranging the sonata for guitar, as it allows for richer, fuller sound while still staying true to the original phrasing.
The Sonata No. 2 comprises four movements, each displaying a distinct character. The opening Grave sets a solemn and introspective tone, with the guitar's rich resonance enhancing the melodic lines and intricate contrapuntal textures. The melodic lines are lyrical yet highly ornamented and contain unusually large intervals for Baroque music.
The Fugue starts off with a nine note-motif, which is a rhythmic basis for the entire movement, each voice in turn taking a leadership role. The contrapuntal mastery throughout the piece heightens in musical intensity until the climax at the very end.
The tender Andante is a moment of respite, where the stepwise motion of the bass carries the beautiful melody on the top, conveying a sense of contemplation and serenity. Both sections stay true to the violin version the first time around, while the repeats introduce more embellishments and voices, taken from the BWV 964 version.
Finally, the Sonata concludes with a spirited Allegro, characterized by its rapid scale passages and energetic rhythms, which are masterfully translated to the guitar. Even though it seems as a virtuosic etude, its beautiful sequences make it a special and powerful final movement.
A. Barrios - La Catedral
Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) stands as one of the most significant and revered composers and guitarists of the 20th century. His contributions to the classical guitar repertoire are characterized by a seamless blend of traditional Latin American folk influences, virtuosic techniques, and refined compositional craftsmanship. Among his impressive body of work, "La Catedral" holds a special place as a masterpiece that embodies Barrios's musical genius and artistic sensitivity.
The works of J.S. Bach influenced greatly the music of Barrios. It is said that the composition of his most famous work, La Catedral, was inspired by a visit to the Cathedral of San José in Montevideo. The broad, horizontal chords of the Andante Religioso represent his impressions of the organist playing Bach chorales in the cathedral. The ensuing Allegro Solemne symbolizes his leaving the calm, spiritual atmosphere of the cathedral and entering out into the street, where the hustle and bustle of the real world is represented by incessant sixteenth note arpeggio figures. While living in Havana in 1938 (17 years after the composition of the other two movements), he revisited the piece and added the Preludio Saudade (“nostalgia”), creating a 3-movement work. This was a time of declining health for Barrios, as well as financial and marital problems. The Preludio reflects this sense of sadness and longing for something better.
D. Bogdanović - Suite Breve
Dušan Bogdanović’s Suite Brève is a brief yet hauntingly beautiful homage to Bach. The suite takes a short motif through five different Baroque movements, each time conveying a completely different character. A unique mixture of Dušan’s rich harmonic language, featuring ethnic music from the Balkans along with subtle (and not so subtle) references of various Bach’s works. Each movement also explores different tunings on guitar, expanding the possibilities of different voicings and color to match each character.
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