THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION

Review: Vida Guitar Quartet | Allegro Guitar Society of Dallas | University Park United Methodist Church


Pick a Little, Talk a Little

The Vida Guitar Quartet, visiting from the UK, delights with some bold programming choices for Allegro Guitar Society.



published Saturday, April 5, 2014

Photo: Courtesy
Vida Guitar Quartet

Dallas — Friday’s performance by the UK-based Vida Guitar Quartet was a lively evening of varied arrangements for four guitars, some familiar, some much less so. Presented Thursday in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society and in Dallas by the Allegro Guitar Society of Dallas, the quartet—its players are Mark Ashford, Mark Eden, Christopher Stell and Helen Sanderson—has a fun, quirky vibe that clearly amused and engaged the audience.  Remarks between pieces from three of the quartet’s members were charming and delightful (and delivered in the most delicious of English accents).

The repertoire for this recital was predominantly 20th and 21st-century, a bold programming move that made for an interesting night.

The best-known of the pieces was probably George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  Arranged by Christopher Stell, this version is accurate to the original (two piano) version, but the Vida Quartet played it pretty straight.  There is precedent for this, of course—the piece will accommodate it—but a bit more swing would have been welcome, and the big dynamic contrasts listeners are accustomed to in piano and orchestra performances simply aren’t going to happen with four classical guitars. Still, this was the audience favorite of the evening, inspiring a standing ovation.

Even more interesting, though, was Mark Eden’s arrangement of Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. The variety of tone colors the four guitarists produced out of their instruments was impressive, although given that they are all in the same range of pitches, a string symphony inevitably loses its higher and lower ranges. The cleverest bit had the four players using sponge “mutes” to achieve quite authentic bowed-string pizzicato sounds for the second movement, the “Playful Pizzicato.”  This arrangement showed off both the ensemble’s technical abilities and their sensitivity as musicians.  They were continuously attentive to each others’ playing, which enabled some truly impressive feats of ensemble as, for instance, the melody was passed from one player to another in the middle of a phrase.

The least familiar pieces on the program were probably arrangements of contemporary composer Adam Gorb’s Yiddish Dances, a fun take on traditional Jewish dance forms such as the Hora; and British composer Malcolm Arnold’s English Dances: Set 2.  The latter is a highly melodic, folk-song-influenced piece, with members of the quartet frequently taking the part of the percussion section on the bodies of their guitars, to fun effect.

Last on the printed program was a suite from Georges Bizet’s Carmen.  Like the Gershwin, this is a ubiquitous piece.  One of the things that unusual arrangements do for too-familiar pieces is that they may, at least ideally, allow experienced listeners to hear music with what Buddhists call “beginner’s mind.” While at first we may think, “Oh, that’s the flute solo” or “Ah, that sounds different on guitar than on violin,” eventually we may find ourselves able to let go of that and, ideally, hear Carmen as a person might who had never heard it before. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Pick a Little, Talk a Little
The Vida Guitar Quartet, visiting from the UK, delights with some bold programming choices for Allegro Guitar Society.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic TCC Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit