Performers like this are the reason why the Marlow series, in its 20th Season, has become such an international showcase for the finest classical guitarists in the world today. We have been blessed, extremely so, as the result of untiring efforts on the parts of Tim and Susan Healy, Regis Ferruzza, Carol Marlow, Joan Collings and many others who, over the years, have dedicated themselves to building an establishment well-regarded by the greater Baltimore-Washington community and far beyond.
When performers the likes of the Tamayo-Montesinos Duo grace our hall, there’s no escaping the fact that time and dedication pay off for the artists, for those who work to provide the platform for their art, and, not least, for those who have the reliable opportunity to hear exceptional music.
This adorable couple hail from the exquisite city of Salzburg, Austria, but it was not always so. She is Spanish, he is Cuban, and they met at an international competition when she was too young to date, but there was a spark there from the beginning which ultimately produced, for our listening pleasure, the fine output of music we heard on the 23rd which waltzed us through the centuries between Sor and Koshkin.
The first half of their program superbly demonstrated the great command they have of the repertoire of Bach, Sor and Paganini! Try starting out with that handful of notes (although I might of eased into it with the Sor first). Bach’s Concerto BWV 971, after Vivaldi, has a delightful catch-me-if-you-can third movement which sweetly defined the dynamic between the two talents whereas Sor’s L’Encouragement offered us introspection and perspective on a work which highlighted the players perfect synchronization of the musical text – what a lesson it was. Then, the Prima Sonata (originally for violin and guitar) by Paganini spun us into a fast, faster, fastest frenzy that simply charmed the programs right out of the hands of the listeners.
For their second act, the audience was fully engaged by Leo Brouwer’s transcriptions of three Lennon-McCartney songs which I, for one, had a hard time not singing along to… The take away from this was, it was too darned bad they didn’t have a recording of it because I would have purchased the lot and sent them to friends at the four corners of the earth for the holidays! Hopefully, Anabel and Marco will record them soon and make Paul McCartney the first recipient of the first disc off the press. What a superb and wholly imaginative interpretation of these transcribed songs. Please, WETA, play this over and over again ASAP!!!!
Then, Koshkin’s ragtime movement in the Cambridge Suite beguiled us for a while before the last piece by Menken (transcribed by Marco himself) painted a whole new image of Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid. For a decidedly classically bent constituency, the second half of the program reimagined the 20th century and gave us something new and fresh to take out in our heads on the way home.
Wow, this is why I love this series. It has it all: a range of musical history without being stodgy or dated, performed within the disciplined hands of gifted artists with fresh ears and outstanding talent to boot. Who could ask for anything more?
Silver Spring, MD