classical beaver alive!

the beav religiously cranks up its radio every sunday morning at nine o’clock, because that’s when ac/fm (89.9 represent!) airs the fantastic program classical guitar alive!  *tony morris, the host of the show, seems to be a human encyclopedia of inexhaustible guitar knowledge, so… what better brain to pick about the band’s upcoming concerts this saturday, sunday, and monday?

tony, seemingly all of p-town is stoked to have sharon isbin sitting in with the oregon symphony this weekend… what sets her apart from other guitarists?

Sharon Isbin occupies an important place in classical guitar history.  She established the guitar department at Juilliard, and also Leo Brouwer’s El Decamerón Negro (1981) and Corigliano’s Troubadours concerto (1993) were both written for her.  I think it’s time to re-broadcast that piece and John Corigliano’s interview for CGA.

sweet – i’ll be listening for it!  hey, ms. isbin will be performing fantasía para un gentilhombre written by joaquín rodrigo.  can you teach me something about this composer and his work?

Rodrigo is often called a Neo-Classic/Romantic, Spanish Nationalist composer.  Musicians struggle with labels, but that suit fits nicely, I think.  Fantasía para un gentilhombre was dedicated to Andrés Segovia, and is based on themes from a Baroque Spanish guitarist.  Rodrigo’s earlier Aranjuez concerto had become a hit, but Segovia refused to play it, because it was written for another Spanish guitar rival.  (That piece was written during the Spanish Civil War, and Segovia had fled the country.)  By 1954 when the Fantasia was published, both Rodrigo the composer and Segovia the guitarist had each become towering figures in classical music, so the Fantasía para un gentilhombre was born as a win-win situation for both.

nice, thanks!  alright, one last question before i let you go back to the studio: what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

Classical music live is like any other kind of music live – it’s a living, breathing, thing.  It’s also where classical music shines the brightest.  Perfect recordings are wonderful to listen to, but when created in the moment, by living breathing human beings, it has its most urgency and power.  Not just because of the players, but also because of the audience.  To experience the breath-holding hush of a vast audience in a quiet, poignant passage is an emotionally-charged experience.

ooh, you’re giving me goosebumps over here… the breath-holding hush?!  tony, i love it ~ muchas gracias for stopping by!

[um, don’t tell tony, but the beavs is totes gonna steal that breath-holding hush line for a future post.  and btw, didja think i was gonna let this post end without another get-out-the-vote attempt?  listen: if you dig these interviews with classical music folks from around the world, go to *spring for music’s website and throw this rodent a vote in the 2012 great blogger challenge.  thanks.  and be sure to tune in tomorrow when the classical beaver invites sharon isbin to tackle 10 questions.  yes, that sharon isbin!]

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