If you haven’t heard John Feeley play his own arrangement of the Bach Cello Suite no.1, you haven’t heard the Bach Cello Suite no.1.
From the opening Prelude with all its soulful longing, through the remorseful and mordent filled Saraband to the final Gigue, it fills your head with memorable emotion which will follow you around for hours, days even — on the sidewalk, at street crossings, in the elevator (if musak doesn’t interfere with it). You won’t be able to shake its haunting counterpoint. This is what we were given a taste of on March 24th, when Ireland’s own was ours for a little over an hour for the Marlow Series. It just doesn’t get much better than that, except maybe those wonderful O’Carolan melodies as timeless and fresh since the day they were composed. You can play them straight or dress them up with frilly ornamentation and they still convey a sense of a time gone by, something missed, but oh so romantically remembered. The mastery of these pieces lies in the musician’s ability to turn the notes and phrases as a woodworker skillfully guides the saw to produce a masterpiece of form and motion out of solid matter. The artist feels it, sees it taking shape and executes. John Feeley knows these pieces like the back of his hand, and turns phrases into decorative little masterpieces in and of themselves. What a gift it is to be informed by his mature experience — another evening enjoyed by all.
In addition to John’s program, we had the opportunity to hear, for starters, this year’s winner of the Beatty Competition, Young Jun Lim, who is off to the Peabody Conservatory next year on scholarship. This Series has inspired a younger generation of artists to strike out on their own, and we are extremely proud of all the Beatty Competition contestants who bring their own fresh ideas to timeless guitar classics.
For our last concert of the Season, Pepe Romero will grace the Series. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, this program is already sold out, but if you subscribe to the series, you don’t have to worry about such things. Please consider doing so for the 2012-2013 Season. Watch your mailbox for subscription brochures which will be out in late summer. We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!
-D.Drayer, Silver Spring, MD