Gloucestershire Echo – February 2004

“Morgan earns approval with guitar brilliance?
Cheltenham Contemporary Concerts Series
Dean Close School, Cheltenham.
Alfred Laurence, Gloucestershire Echo.

SOLO guitar recitals are something of a rarity. So it was especially welcome that a concert given by Morgan Szymanski was included as part of the Cheltenham Contemporary Concerts series.

The young Mexican player put together a fascinating programme, nicely balanced between new work and established modern classics.

The recital began with Cat Dances and The Unicorn in the Garden by Alec Roth. Lightly sketched, they never clamoured for attention but gently coaxed the listener into their own, personal world of sound.

By way of contrast, Leo Brouwer’s Cuban Landscape conjured up an intriguing evocation of bells. This was followed by a delightful set of variations on a languid-sounding, Anatolian folk song by Carlo Domeniconi.

The inclusion of two of Walton’s Bagatelles made me wish we could have heard the other three.

But we were soon compensated by and exciting performance of another set of variations by the Mexican composer, Jorge Ritter.

The most substantial item was left for the end. This was a gripping performance of the four movement Sonata by Ginastera. Here Mr Szymanski displayed his wonderful musicality and technical accomplishment to the full with the exciting finale making a particularly strong impact.

Altogether an enjoyable and unusual recital by a player who is obviously well on the way to making a name for himself.

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