Brazilian guitarists visit SU

BY REBECCA HALL, STAFF WRITER

 

Degenstein Campus Theater came to life on Tuesday evening with the sounds of the Brazilian
Guitar Quartet. This performance was the conclusion of the 2013-2014 Susquehanna University Artist Event Series. Two other performance groups joined in this year’s series:
Taikoza, a Japanese Taiko drum and dance group, and the Houston Ballet II.
The Brazilian Guitar Quartet, consisting of Everton Gloeden, Tadeu do Amaral, Luiz Mantovani and Gustavo Costa, has been performing for over ten years. The performance on Jan. 28 contained music by Heitor Villa- Lobos, Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla and Isaac AlbÈniz. The group combined use of sixstring and extended-range, eightstring
guitars. The first three sets all were compositions of Heitor Villa- Lobos. The first piece was entitled “DanÁas Caracteristicas Africanas,” translated in English to “African Folk Dances.” According to Luiz Mantovani, one of the guitarists, the piece was based on Native American traditions. The second piece had arrangements from “Cirandas.” Each of these selections was based off of Brazilian nursery rhymes. The first half of the performance concluded with “String Quartet No. 5 (Quarteto Popular).” Mantovani explained that Villa-Lobos wanted to break away from the standards of composing that had been in the New World. The piece was different and unique. The second half of the concert continued with “4 Piezas EspaÒolas” by Manuel de Falla, “Azulejos” by Isaac AlbÈniz and
“El Fandango de Candil” and “El pelele,” both from Enrique Granados’ “Goyescas, op. 11.”
Assoociate Professor of Music Marcos Krieger, one of the managers for the Artist Event
Series, said that in the United States, we are accustomed to the electric guitar, while in Brazil, it’s common for at least one family member to know how to play acoustic guitar. In a culture where the guitar is common, there are many who go on to become
professional players. Krieger said: “It’s interesting to have a guitar quartet here because we’re not used to it.We’re used to acoustic guitar for blues and bluegrass. But these are very highly trained musicians playing chamber music. What you would
expect to be played with violin, viola, the cello, it’s being played with four guitars.”
For several years now, the Susquehanna’s Arts Events Committee has been looking into bringing a guitar group to perform, and it had been a fortunate alignment that brought the quartet to campus this year. Krieger said: “The music will be very friendly. It’s very intimate. Nothing is being amplified.” As the event progressed, many of the audience members took to bobbing their heads along to the rhythm, keeping time with
the music. Karl Bratt, a new resident to the Selinsgrove area, enjoyed the concert. He had come to the performance with his wife in search of entertainment, and agreed that the small setting was much nicer than a performance in a larger auditorium.
Bratt said: “You can tell they’ve been playing together for a long time. One of the fun parts of going to a concert live is seeing which instrument is doing
what.” Krieger said: “Of the three events, this is the most virtuosic, professional performance. Taikoza was more folk-art. The Houston Ballet, while excellent, was still a group of young people. This is a group of very seasoned performers who have worked all over the world.” The Artist Event Series is an annual event consisting of three performances. No information regarding the 2014-2015 series has been made available.