Dallas — One of the great advantages that we have in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is the existence of the Allegro Guitar Society/Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society. They bring us the world’s greatest guitarists to perform in both cities. These are on the same international level as more recognizable names such as violinist Joshua Bell or soprano René Fleming. But along those lines, only a few classical artists rise to household names. Such it is with guitarists. You may know about Pepe Romero but the artists that the Allegro Guitar Society plays on that level.
Case in point is the Duo Sigueira Lima, which performed on Tuesday evening in Dallas and repeated the concert Thursday in Fort Worth (for this review, the Dallas concert was viewed). This was a spectacular performance.
The guitar duo of Cecilia Siqueira, who is Uruguayan, and Brazilian Fernando Lima met in 2001 when they tied for the first prize as soloists, in the Il International Guitar Competition/SESC in Caxias do Sul in Brazil. They exceed what you would expect from a duo made up of soloists that battled to a tie in such a prestigious competition.
However, even though the sound would lead you to think that there is only one player performing, they are quite different players with different approaches to the instrument.
Cecilia Siqueira is a petite woman who embraces the instrument and plays with obvious joy and physical involvement in the music. She frequently smiles when things go well and you can see her shoulders subtly move in rhythm when playing works based on Brazilian dances. Fernando Lima sits tall in the chair and is a more inscrutable presence.
The program covered a wide range of music with a heavy influence of Brazilian composers. There were two dances by Hector Villa-Lobos. There were another two dances by the Madrid-born composer with the German-sounding name of Ernesto Halffter. Tango king Astor Piazzolla was represented by two movements from his collection of works about the seasons, as you would experience them in Brazil. France did have one entry with two of Debussy’s Arabesques as arranged by Lima himself.
The audience demanded four encores and it is a good thing they did because the last one was terrific. They played the well-known “Tico-Tico” by Zequinha de Abreu, but with a unique twist: they played it on one guitar. Siqueira held the instrument but the gymnastics that they executed with the four arms to make a duo performance on one guitar was astounding. Piano four-hands provides a much roomier instrument for two players, but these two virtuosi made it look easy.
I highly recommend you catch them next time they are in town.