Suite from Carmen by Georges Bizet, arranged by W. Kanengiser
Americanan Op. 96a by John Duarte
Kantu by Carlos Hayre
Danza Ritual del fuego by Manuel de Falla, arr. J. Caballero
Swinging in Hawaii by Jo Portalier
Pink blunk by Bert Verschueren
a selection of theme from the Peruvian coastal region:
Dignas by Pablo Casas
La Morena Trinidad by wilfredo Franco
Sonrisas by Pedro Espinel
La Concherperia (Tradicional)
Cuarteto de Guitarras Aranjuez in London
The music of the Amstel Guitar Quartet mesmerised me years ago, alerting me to the sound of four guitars. Sadly, the Amstel Quartet can only heard on CD as the members have disbanded.
It was thus an honour and a privilege to get invited to see Peru's foremost chamber music group, Aranjuez Guitar Quartet perform to a select audience in central London. The outgoing Peruvian ambassador to the United Kingdom spoke at this hosted event in Bolivar Hall, near Warren Street tube station. The hall was completely full half-an-hour before the concert even began.
I sat comfortably between my Canadian-Polish neighbour and an English pianist who had spent four years in Peru. The first piece was Bizet's Carmen transcribed for four guitars. The guitar is such a versatile instrument, and in this piece, you can hear the gallopping of the horses as the fingers do their dance.
That was end of the classical music section, the lead guitarist announced, after four movements. The English composer John Duarte was present for his piece. I've come to the conclusion that the choice of repertoire is just as important as the performance. In less than two hours, the group played a variety of music, showing different possibilities for the guitar, different styles, rhythms, and colour.
After hearing two (or was it three?) encores, the audience reluctantly allowed the quartet to exit. This was soon followed by refreshments in the form of famous Peruvian cocktail Pisco Sour, an extremely potent drink made of three parts Pisco (a liquor) and one part lemon with some sugar to taste. This transformed the dignified audience to a partying crowd.
I managed to secure a CD from the guitarist with a beard. At 10 pounds, the CD was a steal. That's what I need to do with my CD's, I thought - first serve free drinks, then sell my CD's.
31 October 2003 Friday