Visiting Artists series
Thursday 11 April 2019
Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square
We were delighted to welcome back to the Society Evangelos Nikolaidis, graduate of the RWCMD and a performer and teacher with a busy national and international concert schedule, as well as being a leader of the South Wales Guitar Society. Evangelos presented an attractive programme of pieces in thematic groups: Renaissance; 19th century; Spanish; Modern, and Latin American.
Diferencias sobre ‘Guárdame las vacas’ is by Spanish composer and vihuelist Luis de Narváez, who was employed at the court of Phillip II in the early 1500s, and published an invaluable six volume edition of music for vihuela, Los seys libros del delphín (1538), which provided a reference for early guitar technique and repertoire. Evangelos’ performance of this set of variations (diferencias) from volume 6, was spirited and precise.
Evangelos’ playing is characterised by an emphasis on the emotive power of the music, and his rendering of the following four Romantic studies by the great player-teachers Sor and Carcassi surprised many in the audience who knew the pieces with his skillful highlighting of their beauty and sentiment, alongside his mastery of their well-known complexity. These pieces are often played as a part of students’ preparation per se, but rarely as Evangelos performed them here, as the compositional and musical gems that they are.
The energy and tight control continued into Laurindo Almeida’s Danza Gitana, with its rasgueados, tremolos and bass-string melody filled with Spanish temper and flamenco flair. The second of the Spanish pair, Tárrega’s Capricho Árabe was the composer’s most vaunted and musically accomplished during his lifetime. Again, Evangelos, brought out the depth of colour and character, allowing appreciation of Tárrega’s compositional genius.
The two pieces in the next section were new to the audience. David Cottam’s Moonlight on Water, from his ‘Zebramusic’ collection is a smaller, but no less charming, piece, and the inclusion of Tziogkidis’ Sentimental Waltz was a well-deserved homage to its author, who is still a student; a bright future awaits him.
The Latin America selection of songs and guitar compositions from Cuba, Paraguay, Argentina, and Mexico not only served to further showcase Evangelos’ impressive command of genres and of guitar technique, but brought a great balance to the programme. It was a joy to the ear, evoking admirably the rhythms, romance and wide-open pampas of South America. We are very grateful to Evangelos Nikolaidis for a wonderful evening of music, his example of musicality and precision, and of enthusiastic and thoughtful musical company.
Diferencias sobre ‘Guárdame las vacas’ Luis de Narváez (fl. 1526-49)
Study No. 6 Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
Study No. 9 Matteo Carcassi (1792-1853)
Study No. 5 Sor
Study No. 7 Carcassi
Danza Gitana Laurindo Almeida (1917-1995)
Capricho Árabe Francisco Tárrega (1882-1909)
Moonlight on Water David Cottam
Sentimental Waltz S. Tziogkidis
El Choclo Ángel Villoldo (1861-1919)
Bésame Mucho Consuelo Velásquez (1916-2005)
El Sueño de la Muñequita Agustín Barrios (1885-1944)
Milonga Jorge Cardoso (1949- )
Quizás, Quizás, Quizás Osvaldo Farres (1903-1985)