As always, we welcome your own thoughts and comments on the evening! Please feel free to add your comments here!
The recital of Carlos Perez, Chile which we presented on Nov 13 at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ has occurred. Let me comment on the evening:
Around 6:30 pm, we entered the Church a bit tentatively, as we had been told that the furnace was being completely re-built and we were worried that it would be too cold. It wasn’t.
Carlos came to the stage and began immediately with a Cello suite by J.S. Bach. It was lyrical and colorful and delightful. The program continued apace with the wonderful, virtuosic playing which we have come to associate with Carlos. His dizzying speed was never carelessly thrown in but always used to good effect. The reviewer from the Washington Post had the following to say:
Guitarist Carlos Perez
The six-concert Marlow Guitar Series at Westmoreland Congregational Church in Bethesda draws capacity audiences. Saturday’s revelatory performance by classical guitarist Carlos Perez proved no exception.
Fresh from a Carnegie Hall début, he is an expressive, impassioned player with astonishing technical prowess. These qualities stood him in good stead through most of the evening, which he dedicated to his native Chile’s bicentennial and the recent rescue of trapped miners in that country.
His most persuasive playing came in the second half of the program with 20th-century works by Venezuelan Antonio Lauro and Spain’s Joaquin Rodrigo. In three pieces by Lauro, Perez underscored the slightly Viennese lilt of the “Vals Venezolano,” caressed the “Romanza” with pure poetry speaking of ancient modal melodiousness, and raced through the “Pasaje Aragueno,” missing none of its Spanish fandango undercurrents.
Rodrigo’s “Elogio de la Guitarra” brought the absolute peak of the evening, Perez showering on it a lofty degree of imaginative coloring, dramatic twists and sheer virtuosity. Four Chilean folk songs arranged by the guitarist ended the concert on a melodious, contemplative note.
But the Bach Suite, BWV 1010 (originally for cello and transcribed by Perez), was unconvincing. Except in the freshly paced Gigue, the composer’s signature metrical and harmonic pulse was lost in the performer’s aimless subjectivity with plodding tempos and exaggerated ritardandos at every cadence.
The fabled Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia used to play in the vast openness of Washington’s Lisner Auditorium without audio enhancement. It would be interesting to hear Perez with no sound system.
— Cecelia Porter
I know that this review will offer Carlos some savory phrases for his career, so for this review we are surely grateful.
Tim Healy, Nov. 17, 2010