View From The Wing – Nov. 12 Judicael Perroy Recital
WHEN CLASSICAL GUITAR REIGNED SUPREME
by Pablo A. Tariman
That was a big turnout for classical guitar when Judicael Perroy performed in a recital at the UP Abelardo Hall Thursday night.
Using a seldom- heard Greg Smallman guitar that cost $25,000, Perroy had his sizable audience at the palm of his hand opening with Bach’s Suite in G Minor BWV 997.
Used to the sound of Bach suite on a cello, this guitar equivalent seemed to have a sound quality all its own and it’s unusual that one took to the sound as though one was listening to Bach suite for the first time.
The suite for guitar (with its cello equivalent in one’s memory bank) did sound like one had totally left Rostropovich version to hear how it should sound with (Andres) Segovia.
It must be noted that the cello version had notes that were too low for guitar and thus interpreters had to put them an octave higher to follow its original key.
What came out from Perroy’s Greg Smallman guitar is a solid sound that offered a lot for Bach followers.
You appreciate its smooth mellow qualities minus the percussive element when you hear the piano version. You reckon that the Bach for guitar offered more elements of passion and romance than the cello counterpart.
Perroy easily connected with the predominantly guitar crowd and it is probably because he is a very involved performer conscious of his instrument but equally conscious about the reactions of his audience.
Thus after the opening number, he explained the finer points of his repertoire in a manner that thoroughly showed his sense of humor.
At one point, he opined that Takemitzu’s “Equinox” was probably based on a Matisse painting but for the life of him he could not see the connection which caused ripples of chuckles from the audience.
As it turned out, his four part Bach Suite was seamless, a gem of an interpretation that shone from the inside and left you craving for more.
Villa-Lobos’ Suite Popular Brasiliera was musically well-nuanced and his controlled virtuosity in Dubez’s Fantaisie Sur Des Motif Hongrois certainly reflected a high level of artistry.
Takemitzu’s “Equinox” was like a minimalist painting done with few bare strokes but leaving a grand impression.
Agustin Barrios’ “Choro de Saudade” left its mark where it should and Perroy’s instrument offered lots of poetic moments with exquisite taste intact.
Manuel Ponce’s Sonata III evoked everything Mexican in his piece and to this Filipino music lover, the piece just confirmed the historical affinity between the two countries.
Ending with Albeniz’s “Sevilla et Cataluna,” Perroy entranced a full crowd at the UP concert hall and with the prolonged applause, he obliged with an encore, Leopoldo Silos’ “Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak” which again sounded like a new piece even with its familiar melodic lines.
A winner of the 15th Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, Perroy rallied more guitar enthusiasts in his recital that was clearly impeccable and without any trace of the banalities associated with prize-winners.
The recital also showcased two Filipino classical guitarists who rendered two highly inspired opening numbers: Roneil Santos and Aaron Aguila.
Santos’ rendition of Val Venezolano Nos. 2 and 3 by Antonio Lauro was beautifully nuanced and the performer’s sensitivity was easily evident.
Aguila’s “Danza de Molinero” by De Falla had inner fire and was a clue to his bravura capabilities.
On the whole, the November 12 recital was a memorable night the classical guitar reigned supreme.
The event was presented by Independent Philippine Art Ventures, Inc. and co-sponsored by Total Philippines and Philippine Veterans Bank, among others.
The next classical guitar happening is on December 10 at the Ayala Museum and will feature the UP Guitar Orchestra under Lester Demetillo.