Monday, 8 November 2010


A great team:
guitarist David Cottam
'cellist Hilary Boxer
 David Cottam joined Hilary Boxer for a lunchtime concert of classical guitar and 'cello today in the Central Library music room.  The room was filled to hear the music of the 'Spanish Diaspora'.  They started and finished with Spanish music: Enrique Granados' Spanish Dance and Dance Orientale to start and Pablo Casals' beloved Catalan 'Song of the Birds'.
In between we enjoyed the 'world premiere' (he joked) of David's 'Folie à Deux', a new set of variations on that old favourite, 'La Folia'.  Initially with a renaissance feel, the variations became more strident before developing into a dance form - complete with 'cello pizzicato and harmonics.  Then we toured South America and the Hispanic world.  Segovia's guitar arrangement of Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brazileiras, rearranged by David with the Hilary playing the guitar part on the 'cello and David providing '8 'cellos' on his guitar.
On tomorrow's classical journey we shall be listening to the wonderful adaptation of this classic piece for flute and bassoon.
David's solo (which he nearly forgot) was Leo Brouwer's wonderful Danza del Altiplano, a peruvian folk dance set for the guitar by a great Cuban composer, full of golpé thumps and high trills - all very intricate and skilled.  The melancholy 'Un dia di Noviembre' was a perfect contrast.
Intense concentration and perfectly amazing results!
With Hilary back we heard 'Libertango' the recording we listen to on 'Classical Journey' is impressive, but live this is truly amazing!
Local composer Charles West (from Plymtree) was in the music room to hear the premiere of his Portugese masterpiece 'Fado'.  Originally composed for Hilary's chamber group, the Beare Trio, David had added guitar arrangement.  The guitar fingering, timing between the two instruments and the precisely timed long 'cello strokes were all performed brilliantly - much to the pleasure of Charles, sitting at the back of the room.
Then we were taken by Hilary and David on a 'Latin American Journey', prepared by David - mainly in the last two weeks.
Guitar maker Shaun Newman
demonstrates the intricate design
of the guitar he hand-made for David
just one of three he has made for David!
Uruguay: The famous 'Cumparsita', wrongly used as as the Argentine theme tune at the Olympic games, a very familiar tango in flamenco style which would get everyone dancing at a party.
Peru: 'Vilancico' complete with drumming on the guitar strings.
Cuba: 'Punto Cubana', short and sweet in flamenco style with a lovely 'cello solo.
Venezuela: 'Cantico', a blissful lullaby
Ecuador: 'Paisillo' - the 'cello played just like a guitar with plucked chords and strumming, interspersed with the more familiar bowing.
Mexico: 'La Cucuracha' (no rude lyrics please!)

The audience enjoyed the concert so much they were permitted to choose their own encore.  It had to be 'La  Cumparsita'.  Let's dance the tango!
You will hear plenty of this amazing music exclusively on 'Classical Journey' (thanks to the recording skills of Mike Gluyas).  You can also buy the CD 'Nocturne' which features many of the wonderful tunes we enjoyed today.  To get a copy contact Hilary,  To hear Hilary again, playing a totally different repertoire, make plans to come to CELLO+PIANO.  Hilary will be performing the music of Bach, Boccherini and Beethoven with pianist Susan Steele in the music room on Monday 6th Cedember from 12.30-1.30pm.  I can hardly wait!

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