Chiawei Lin performed first on the program. Lin, who is from Taiwan, studied guitar with Professor Panpei Huang and Showlee Huang. He won the Koblenz International Guitar Competition in 2013 and the Iserlohn Competition in 2014. He currently attends both the Cologne University of Music in Germany and the Koblenz International Guitar Academy.
Though the program listed his opening piece as Albéniz’s Cataluña, from Suite Española, Op. 47, it sounded swapped out, unannounced, with a performance of the Malats’ Serenata Española instead. He also performed Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005 , the New York Premiere of Marek Pasieczny’s The Tango Impressions and Carlos Moscardini’s Suburbio.
Lin is a clean player who performs with a delicate touch and great fluidity through difficult technical passages. Though the Moscardini piece was listed as a premiere, I’d wondered why its ascending dramatic melody seemed so familiar and then I then realized it was because I’d heard the composer perform this piece several years ago in Washington, D.C. at the IberoAmerican Guitar Festival. The piece is a vibrant, sonic evocation of the suburbs of Buenos Aires and its tango and milonga dance rhythms.
Anton Baranov studied at the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and has won over fifteen international guitar competitions, including the Koblenz Guitar Competition, the Pittaluga Guitar Competition and, most recently, the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Concert Artist Competition and Francisco Tárrega Competition. He is a featured artist on the NAXOS Label and teaches at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
Baranov performed a fascinating program that opened with Luigi Legnani’s Potpourri, Op. 203, the New York premiere of Yuri Smirnov’s St. Petersburg Etchings in three movements: Lullaby, Pushkin Waltz and Romance and Guido Santórsola’s Sonata Italiana in three movements. The Legnani piece had a sweet tone and a spirited, cavorting theme and mixed tempo. The St. Petersburg Etchings was a standout, with its sensitive lullaby and eerily gorgeous melodies. The original piece is actually eight movements long but due to time restrictions, Baranov chose the three that he felt most closely represented the city of St. Petersburg. The Sonata Italiana falls into the camp of The Modern Atonal Piece with its swift, scale-like ascent of notes followed by slapping at the soundboard, which is then broken by a variation of ponticello chords plucked near the bridge. In more scholarly terms culled from the program notes, this piece reflects the composer’s neoclassical period and use of dodecaphonic technique, counterpoint and chromaticism. Baranov is an artist who manages to paint beautiful sound pictures of rich depth and color from his guitar.
The next concert in this series will be April 30, 2015 with Ukrainian guitarist Marko Topchii, the 2014 winner of the JoAnn Falletta Competition and Croatian guitarist Zoran Dukic, the first non-Spanish guitarist to win the special prize for best interpretation of Spanish music at the Infanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition in Madrid.
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Chiawei Lin performs La Catedral by Agustin Barrios Mangoré
Anton Baranov performs Corillon by Benvenuto Terzi.