Friday, November 11th at noon upstairs in the Eveleth Green Gallery, 408 N Pearl St., Ellensburg, WA. Admission is free but donations will be gladly accepted to support art classes for adults with disabilities. Neil and Tamara will be performing a recital of delightful early 19th century guitar duets on a pair of historic instruments. Neil plays a reproduction built by Scot Tremblay. It is modeled after a 7-string instrument made in Mirecourt, France, by a builder named Aubrey-Marie. Tamara plays an original anonymous French instrument built around 1830. They will perform works by Lhoyer, Henry, Giuliani, and Mertz.
Fernando Sor (1778-1839) gave twelve maxims at the end of his Method for the Guitar. After listing general considerations for playing well such as making the best use of the stronger fingers or avoiding unnecessary barres and shifts, Sor concluded with this as his twelfth maxim: One should hold reasoning for a great deal and routine for nothing.
What stylistic considerations should one address when playing music that is two hundred years old? Many early nineteenth century composers for the guitar utilized a number of unique musical and notation conventions employed in the nineteenth-century: various types of repetitions, ornamentation, glissandi, vibrato, and rolled chords. They also assumed that a performer would often insert an “improvised” cadenza before launching into a concert piece. Drawing from the guitar methods of such nineteenth century luminaries as Carcassi, Sor, Aguado, Aubert, Henry, and Eggers, one finds many of these composer/guitarists used that same conventions in their music. However, examples from methods by Bathioli, De Ferranti, Mertz, Legnani and Molino complicate our understanding of how to realize this music. Not everyone agreed on how music should be played! What one sees on the page is not necessarily all one needs to know to play this music in a aesthetically-convincing, historically-informed way.