Morgan Szymanski and ODuo
Guitar & Percussion, Lakeside Arts Centre
Friday, February 20, 2009
THIS was an exhilarating evening of mainly Latin-American sounds.
Morgan Szymanski, a fine Mexican classical guitarist, and percussionists Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell were first brought together by chance.
Booked for the same concert, they capped it with the arrangement of a Brazilian guitar piece that also crowned last night’s show.
Yesterday they also combined in a unique work by Britain’s Stephen McNeff.
In depicting the animation of Mexican street vendors, Los Ambulantes offset and balanced contrasting instruments with a sure touch.
O Duo opened with a theatrical piece of their own, Bongo Fury. This had them beating drum rhythms of great intricacy, even duelling with their sticks at one point.
Besides partnering the exquisite guitar, two marimbas dazzled in transcriptions from Bach’s French Suite in G and Chopin’s Etude in C sharp minor.
The second half featured Astor Piazzolla tangos as well as Paraguayan guitarist Agustin Barrios’s poignant swan-song. And O Duo needed all their stupendous precision and flair in Minoru Miki’s epic Marimba Spiritual.