‘Uncommon pairing’ yields fantastic taking part in

Roland Peelman (piano) and Andrew Blanch (guitar) carry out “Conciertos Destilados”.
Picture by Peter Hislop.

Music / “Conciertos Destilados”. Andrew Blanch (guitar) and Roland Peelman (piano). At Wesley Music Centre, November 25. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD.

THIS was a really finely performed live performance from the bizarre pairing of a classical guitar and piano. 

It was three concertos for guitar and piano with a “palate cleanser” (Peelman’s time period) of a brief piano work by Elena Kats-Chernin to offer guitarist Blanch a brief break between two of the concertos. 

It was an fascinating alternative of fabric in that two of the concertos, “Antarctica” by Nigel Westlake and the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo have been initially written for guitar and orchestra, with the orchestra scores decreased to a piano for this live performance sequence. 

Guitarist Andrew Blanch performs in “Conciertos Destilados”. Picture: Peter Hislop.

The third main piece, a brand new work commissioned by Blanch from Chilean-Australian composer Daniel Rojas, merely entitled “Guitar Concerto”, was, I feel, written for guitar and piano, although that was not totally defined throughout the live performance.

The live performance opened with “Antarctica” and it grew to become rapidly apparent that the performers struggled at occasions to discover a steadiness between the 2 devices. When the pianoforte performed “piano” all was good, however when the piano was being “forte” the guitar disappeared. It’s an intriguing work and the orchestral model utilises quite a lot of tone colors from the orchestral devices, which don’t have the identical differentiation on the piano.

After Kats-Chernin’s “Sunday Rag”, Blanch returned for Rojas’ “Guitar Concerto”. This can be a very fascinating work that I believe would reward the listener from a pair extra hearings. 

Roland Peelman, on the piano in “Conciertos Destilados”. Picture: Peter Hislop.

There’s a distinct South American really feel with the guitar used as a percussion instrument as a lot as the rest. That distinguishes it from the piano however at occasions the identical steadiness points have been noticeable.

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The ultimate work was the “Concierto de Aranjuez”, which was a delight. The unique orchestral rating was cleverly achieved so the complete orchestra solely performed within the sections the guitar didn’t and the piano association permits each devices to characteristic. 

The gradual second motion was particularly efficient. A brief encore from Andrew Blanch of a piece by Brazilian guitarist Raphael Rabello rounded out an fascinating live performance. The inherent difficulties of discovering the steadiness between two basically percussive stringed devices eluded the performers at occasions, however the efficiency was however spectacular.

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