Sunday, September 30, 2007

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's Brazil concert

A few weeks ago my SO and I attended the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's CD release party concert for their newest album: LAGQ Brazil. LAGQ is a four-man classical guitar quartet that's been around for more than 20 years, but which I just learned about this summer thanks to one of my guitar instructors.

The majority of the concert consisted of the quartet sitting in chairs playing their classical guitars. There was very little showmanship, but they didn't need any; we managed to get front-row seats, and I spent the entire two hours mesmerized by their playing. The group played a range of pieces including Bach's Bandenburg Concerto #6, the Overture to the Barber of Seville, Manuel de Falla's El Amor Brujo, and a number of tracks from their Brazil album (including Jorge Ben's Mas Que Nada). I'm no expert in classical guitar, but I was amazed by the guitarists' skill: their hands flew over the strings, and the fluidity, speed, and apparent effortlessness of their movements were awe-inspiring. I've started listening to a lot of solo classical guitar music in the past few months, and the complexity of the quartet's music was a refreshing contrast.

The quartet ended the concert by playing four songs with Katisse Buckingham and Kevin Ricard, the woodwindist and percussionist they recorded with on their CD. These two musicians made for a great end to the concert, though sadly the group implied that they wouldn't be touring with them.

LAGQ isn't going to be traveling to many cities on their tour (see their schedule here), but if you're lucky enough to be in one of the cities they're going to, and are at all interested in classical guitar, I'd highly recommend attending.

No comments: