Roland Dyens, France

Dear Board and friends,

The guitar world learned today the very sad news that Roland Dyens has passed away. He was a dear friend of the Marlow Series, playing for us 7 times (the very first Marlow concert I ever attended was a performance of his). I had recently been in touch with Roland’s manager Russ about his 2017-18 US tour dates and availability.

Although Roland looked very frail when I saw him last summer in Germany, he had great energy and warmth when he spoke about the Marlow Series, especially of Tim, Susan, Charlotte and David. He said his favorite story was driving with Tim on the highway and hitting a deer. Despite the terrible noise and the cracked windshield Tim’s quiet reaction of “Uh-oh” was to Roland the height of cool.

Roland’s contribution to the guitar world as a performer and composer is beyond measure. He leaves us with hundreds of works that expanded the palette of color possible in classical guitar, blending improvisation with exacting technique. Always free and expressive sounding, his scores reveal great care and detail of instructions so that performers could understand his unique vision for sound.

We have lost a great artist and Marlow friend, but his spirit and music will stay with us. We are so fortunate to have those wonderful performances in our memories.

Danielle Cumming, Artistic Director
The John E. Marlow Guitar Series

PICTURE GALLERY from October 13, 2012

PICTURE from 2010

A single drawing by International Conservatory of Music board member, Neil Doherty, 2010.


Gift Ideas: Tim Healy mentions these classical guitar CDs

In response to a query from Anne Midgette, [The Washington Post blog, “Classical Beat”], “Gift list: What does a person who “likes classical music” really like?”, Tim Healy replies:

“Hi Anne,

If you can figure out what it means to listen to classical music, you will go to the head of the class.

Classical means to some the music around the time of Mozart in the “classical time.” Or it might mean “I appreciate the finer things but can’t articulate it any better than in general terms.”  Or it might mean “I appreciate whatever wallpaper music I hear that doesn’t have words.”  (…recognizing that commercial music producers are looking at a kind of Pavlovian marketing that suggests that people tend to groove to music in a particular key and at a particular wave range.)

I have read that Muzak and others re-score and replay a lot of elevator and supermarket music to reflect that tonality, usually one octave higher than the music was generally written.) Possibly this is paranoia, memo to check Snopes hoax.

Anyway, we (ICM: The John E. Marlow Guitar Series) get a fair number of guitar CDs ourselves and listen to many of them each season for our artistic selection committee.

We have recently enjoyed John Feeley’s CD of “The Immigrant’s Song” presenting classical guitar music arrangements of works mentioned in the writings of James Joyce (catching both the literary and the musical in the same cd), a new CD by the Duo Amaral called, “Textura”, a CD called “Merengue” by Grammy nominated Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and an old two CD set by Roland Dyens called, “Chanson francaises, volumes 1 and 2” which feature Roland’s delightful arrangements of music made famous by Edith Piaf, and other great French contemporary Trouveres.

If these don’t thrill the 30 year old who loves classical music, she could sample 18 different cuts of music we have produced this year taken live from our classical guitar series, in the CD topically called, “Marlow Guitar Series Favorites” including performances by Carlos Perez (Chile) Marco Socias (Spain), Ana Vidovic (Croatia) Margarita Escarpa (Spain) and many others.  Or she may be way more profound than I am giving her credit for.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.”

– A note: These are just some suggestions of CDs by Tim Healy, selected in order to answer the question (see the original blog post for the specific two-part question). There are, of course, many more wonderful classical music CDs, the entirety of which are not possible to mention here.

NEW: Marlow Guitar Series Favorites CD

JEMGS_CDPoster2.inddMarlow Guitar Series Favorites CD

“Fresh off the presses and still warm” as they say, the CDs had been delivered to us by their project manager and International Conservatory of Music Board Member Duane Morse just minutes before audience members began to arrive. If you  attended the March 16th, 2013 David Russell concert and wandered by our packed CD & Raffle Ticket table, you may have seen either our poster or the actual Marlow Guitar Series Favorites CD.

Thanks to the help of our volunteers, Debbie and Patrick Mezzetta, who manage the CD & Raffle Ticket table, we made the CDs available to the public for the first time. Many in our audience took advantage of it.

Thanks to our first buyer, who purchased one even before the CDs had arrived at the venue!

The CD features recordings of a selection of artists that have performed for the John E. Marlow Guitar Series over the years. It is a celebration of the wonderful performances that we have had. We are happy to share them with you.

This CD is available for sale at future concerts. We have one left this season, April 13, 2013.

An excerpt from the Introduction inside the booklet: 

Now in its 19th season, the John E. Marlow Guitar Series is the Washington, D.C. area’s premier presenter of the classical guitar in all of its facets.  This CD features some of our favorite performers from the series, with particular emphasis on up-and-coming artists.  All of them have graciously allowed us to include these recordings of their performances to help promote and raise funds to continue the Marlow Guitar Series.   We thank them for their support and ask that you, the listener, respect their generosity by not making or distributing unauthorized copies of this CD or these performances.

Track List:

1.     John Marlow (5:01):  Prelude from Violin Sonata No. 1 (J.S. Bach) (1-22-75)

2.     Ana Vidovic (3:39):  Allegro from Sonatina (Torroba) (11-22-03)

3.     Duo Amaral (4:11):  Suplica from Saggio (Amaral) (1-21-12)

4.     Marco Socias (3:00):  Tonadilla from Three Spanish Pieces (Pujol) (11-10-12)

5.     Guy Van Duser & Billy Novick (5:11):  Wolverine Blues (Morton) (2-24-07)

6.     Frank Vignola (The Frank & Joe Show) (3:24):  Stardust (Carmichael) (5-6-05)

7.     Mark Ashford (5:20):  Capricorn (Dyens) (3-19-11)

8.     Yuri Liberzon (4:04):  Allegro from Sonata Op. 61 (Turina) (2-19-11)

9.     Ricardo Marlow (4:26):  Mi Copita de Jerez (Tanguillo) (1-25-02)

10.  Frank Vignola & Hot Club USA (6:39):  I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields & McHue) (3-16-02)

11.  Pearl Django (2:59):  The Conversation (Leppanen) (4-24-10)*

12.  Margarita Escarpa (4:55):  Tristorosa (Villa-Lobos) (3-28-09)

13.  Carlos Pérez (2:44): Maria Carolina (Lauro) (10-23-10)

14.  Rupert Boyd (4:32):  Torre Bermeja from Piezas Characteristicas (Albeniz) (1-30-10)

15.  Roland Dyens (3:36):  Take the “A” Train (Strayhorn & Ellington) (10-19-02)

16.  George Vassilev (3:59):  Cantabile from Suite for Guitar “Koyunbaba,” Op. 19 (Domeniconi) (11-20-04)

17.  Anabel Montesinos & Marco Tamayo (3:56): The Fool on the Hill (Lennon & McCartney, arr. Brouwer) (11-17-07)

18.  Cem Duruöz (4:54):  Milonga del Angel (Piazzolla) (2-21-09)

*Studio recording

Total running time:  76:34

The John E. Marlow Guitar Series is presented by The International Conservatory of Music, a Section 501(c)(3) organization,
7001 Delaware St. Chevy Chase, MD 20815

©℗  2013 The International Conservatory of Music



In the days to come, we will post a few pictures from both performances of Roland Dyens, France (L) and Marco Socias, Spain (R). In the meantime, please see what we have available on the John E. Marlow Guitar Series Facebook Page.

Roland Dyens, October 13, 2012

Roland Dyens is an original among musician-composers.  Few would dare to open a program with an improvisation never before heard by an audience much less the performer himself.  But, in the world of guitar playing, one dares to be different.  This is how the opening concert of The John E. Marlow Guitar Series on October 20 got off to its 2012-2103 season start.  On a wing and a secular prayer, Mr. Dyens amused Marlow listeners with his charm and, sometimes, witty playing.

Programs are generally the norm for performers, but Roland prefers spontaneity to formal program structure.  Every piece, then, was a surprise and over half the repertoire was pulled directly from the performer’s own arsenal of uniquely original compositions and arrangements.  We strolled with him through his musical wanderings from the opening improvisation, original works and adaptations, which included a sensitive rendering of that “more French than Polish” master Frederic Chopin’s Waltz no. 2, Op. 69, through Fernando Sor’s, Le Calme, to, again, his own piece aptly entitled The Delights of Jetlag, and ending on an encore, yet again his own, Comme Le Jour which touched the assembled souls and brought the house to its feet.

Mr. Dyens is a guitar’s musician too.  He explores his instrument with casual familiarity, sometimes moving it gently to extend the after tones of pieces which allows final notes and chords to hum themselves under a sort of extended fermata-esque end.  We thoroughly enjoyed having Roland back for a visit this year, and, with a nearly sold out attendance, he got our season series off to an exciting start.

Please join us again, on November 10, when Marco Socias of Spain promises to demonstrate just how indispensable this series has become to our area’s guitar devotees.  Look forward to seeing you there.

-Deborah Drayer
Silver Spring, MD

Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Listen to a music clip for Roland Dyens, France, performing Saturday, October 13, 2012

Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Listen to a music clip for Roland Dyens, France, performing Saturday, October 13, 2012