Basingstoke Gazette, January 2009

Morgan masters variety of guitar styles
David Lucas, Basingstoke Gazette 29-01-09

Trinity Methodist Church was the ideal venue for this impressive and varied rectal.

It’s good acoustics and modest size enabled the audience to concentrate on every note of the programme, given by one of today’s most accomplished guitarists.

Mexican-born Morgan Szymanski, who studied in London and Amsterdam and has won major international competitions, demonstrated the classical guitar’s full potential.

The concert’s first half concentrated on a traditional repertoire of pieces by Giuliani, Mangoré, Lauro and Albéniz.

Giuliani’s Grand Overture was a piece of it’s time, with echoes of the style of Mozart and Haydn, and three works by Mangoré provided a contrast both with the previous piece and within themselves.

Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios was the last piece written by the guitar virtuoso, and it highlighted the tremolo playing over a melody which is such a feature of the instrument’s technique, and which Morgan exhibited with great delicacy of phrasing and dynamics.

Lauro’s Four Waltzes displayed simplicity of musical language, with exquisite gradations of tone. Originally written for piano, the guitar version of Albéniz’s Asturias was dramatic, even depicting, by tonal contrasts, an earthquake on the generally soft-spoken guitar.

Morgan introduced the works in his programme informatively and with humour.

The second-half pieces were all by living composers, and they were all very approachable, while showing some unusual effects such as long glissandi, slapping of the strings, and hitting the body of the instrument.

Two woks by Alec Roth had been written for Morgan himself and Simone Iannarelli, another guitar virtuoso wrote the humorous suite Italian Coffee. The final piece was Jongo by Paulo Bellinati, the Brazilian guitarist, with elements of jazz and strong rhythmic drive.

The large audience enthusiastically called for more, and Morgan favoured us with the well-known Memories of the Alhambra by Tarrega, leaving us with a final taste of his refined and delicate playing.

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