Aquarelle Guitar Quartet supported by The Corinium Players Guitar Ensemble at the Sundial Theatre, Cirencester, Saturday, May 7.
Review by Annie Perry.
THE Sundial theatre in Cirencester came alive on Saturday night with music from the much-anticipated collaboration between The Corinium Players Guitar Ensemble and one of Britain’s leading chamber groups, Manchester-based Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.
After months of practice and a day workshop with Aquarelle, who are both performers and teachers, the Corinium Players were thrilled to be supporting such a nationally acclaimed guitar ensemble.
J.S.Bach's Brandenburg Concert No 6 arranged by James F Smith for guitars opened the evening. A well-balanced, thoughtfully played piece, the Corinium Players subtly enhanced the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.
This balance of ebb and flow between Aquarelle and the Corinium Players continued for the rest of the first half of the evening. The audience was taken on a train ride, the 7.53 to be exact (composed by Vincent Lindsey-Clark) enjoying the range of dynamics and tempos within the piece.
Freddie Mercury's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' arranged by Sandra Dukes displayed a range of dexterity, dynamics and rhythm played without fault under Sandra's expressive and clear conducting.
The first half of the concert ended with 'In The Mood' and we were immediately transported back in time to the hey- day of Glenn Miller. A good strong, steady 'bass line' supported the melody allowing a light frothy swing to ooze from the rest of the group, of which there are thirty eight, ranging from the very young, new first time performers, to the senior and adult members. Something must be said here about the composure and attentiveness of the new young group.
Aquarelle’s performance explored music from the Balkans to Scotland, including a Cuban Rhumba, Folk Song and an eclectic mix of guitar styles.
However, 'The Swan' a hauntingly beautiful Celtic Scottish piece originally written and performed on Harp by Catriona McKay and then arranged by Michael Baker (Aquarelle) was a stand out piece for me as they conveyed the liquid beauty of still calm water only broken by that of the swan.
* Look out for the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet in the future – the next big thing making in the classical guitar world.
* Next performance for the Corinium Players Guitar Ensemble takes place on the May 30 at South Cerney's Street Fair at 2pm.