Maidenhead Express – March 2005

“Cool hands ring true?
Norden Farm Arts Centre, Maidenhead.
Geoff Cowart, Maidenhead Express

MEXICAN guitarist and Royal College of Music Junior Fellow Morgan Szymanski, made a welcome return to Norden Farm last Thursday.

Settling into his chair on the bare stage, the 25-year-old Morgan said: “It’s not everyday I get to say ‘Good Morning’ to an audience?.

Suitable to the tranquil mood, he laid into composer Alec Roth’s meditative piece, The Unicorn in the Garden, a fluffy yet technically demanding tune.

It was followed by the more serious, classically-based Sonata by Manuel Ponce, allowing Morgan to display his fine understanding of the complex music, gauging both the piece’s mood and the rhythm expertly. Never wishing to sacrifice tone for volume, Morgan still managed to fill the hall with the warm sound of his guitar.

The next two pieces, Roth’s Song to the Moon and Iannarelli’s Tribute to Keith Jarrett, showed Morgan’s skill at creating moods with his strings while showing off near perfect technique. Both pieces focused on a central theme that was then repeated, creating an overwhelming hypnotic effect.

He snapped the crowd out of its trance with the glorious Cuban Landscape with Bells by Leo Brouwer, letting the riffs fly while de-tuning his guitar to create the sound of a throng of bells.

The final trick up Morgan’s sleeve was Jorge Ritter’s Capoeira Variations, with a musical theme developed from the Brazilian martial art. Over ten minutes, Morgan swung the tune from jazz to rock (even quoting guitar god Jimmy Hendrix) to finish his lunchtime set in empathetic style.

At just 25, Morgan has a very promising career ahead.

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