View From The Wing
ISLANDERS CHEER CLASSICAL GUITARIST
by Pablo A. Tariman
VIRAC, CATANDUANES — Classical guitarist Aemilio Cecilio Enginco attracted more converts for classical guitar after he opened the 2016 Catanduanes Summer Music Festival Saturday night at the Marem Pension House Function Hall to great audience approbation.
A first prize winner of the Trattoria Poggio Guitar Competition 2015, second prize winner of the Tarrega Malaysia International Guitar Competition 2015 and third prize in the Hong Kong International Guitar Competition last year, Enginco easily connected with his audience with a detailed explanation of his pieces before every number.
The result was a far more appreciated classical guitar repertoire that sat very well with both the millennial and the senior citizens in the audience.
Present in the concert were music and arts teachers from Catanduanes State University and Catanduanes National High School. Also in the audience is the island’s most famous OFW, Esperanza Tresvalles and her daughter in law, Shie Lucena Khan,
(Tresvalles’ story written by this author was touched in one edition of Channel 2’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya” hosted by Charo Santos. Tresvalles was played by Agot Isidro, Mrs. Khan was played by Kaye Abad and Tarik Khan was played by actor John Lloyd Cruz.)
Opening with Usher Waltz by Nikita Koshkin, Enginco showed a wider grasp for the instrument with highly sensitive attention to the little details to balance the bravura part of the piece.
But the night’s runaway winner was Francisco Tarrega’s “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” and Jose Valdez’s “ Variations on Sarung Bangui” based on the popular Bicol piece by Albay composer Potenciano Gregorio.
The Tarrega piece literally had some members of the audience closing their eyes to savor every note of the guitar masterpiece.
Equally well-applauded were Regondi’s “Nocturne” (Reverie), Legnani’s Fantasia, Op. 19 and Tres Piyezas Espanolas by Joaquin Rodrigo.
With the applause getting louder and shouts of “More” reverberating in the hall, Enginco obliged with a couple of encore pieces.
The young in the audience cheered the first encore number (“Super Mario Theme”) and obliged some more with Johann Kaspar Mertz’s Tarantelle.
The classical guitarist noted that the islander’s warmth and sincerity are the most special quality of that festival opening audience. “They really paid attention to the details as I explained the background of each piece. It is also one of the few concerts that I can say that the people watching really exerted effort to understand the piece and find the meaning of it in my interpretation.”
Before the concert proper, Enginco played Tarrega’s “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” after the welcome dinner hosted by businessman Teddy Arcilla in San Andres Catanduanes. The same piece found special audience for a Russian tourist and her friends in Puraran Beach in Baras town where he played the same piece for the family of 94-year old former mayor of the town, Jesus Torrente and his daughter, Evelyn Torrente Clerigo.
Enginco pointed out the inherent attraction of the piece. “Aside from the unique technique involved, Requerdos de la Alhambra easily appeals to the emotion. Its soothing and serious melodic line stirs the emotions. It has something great for the lonely and something moving for those who enjoy life. I can fully understand why audiences can connect with it easily. It happens to be one of my favorites as well. But to do justice to it, I need to mature with more experiences and knowledge. These two elements pose an important challenge to me as an artist.”
For the first time, local guitar enthusiasts heard a Spain-made Milagro guitar made by Neriz Gonzales. “What I like about this Milagro guitar is that it uses lattice bracing which, in theory, can project bigger sound than the traditional-braced guitars. It has a Cedar-top which also produces a sweeter sound than the spruce. I found it good for me since it will balance my innately bright tone. Aesthetic-wise, I love its finish and the detail it has in the head of the guitar. I love its totality.”
Presently president of the UST Conservatory of Music Student Council, Enginco is all set for his graduation recital on May 6, 2016, 7 p.m. at the main gallery of the UST Museum.
His May 6 UST Museum program includes Fugue in A minor, BWV 1000 by J.S. Bach; Fantasia, Op. 19 ny Luigi Legnani Nocturne (Reverie); Giulio Regondi’s Tres Piezas Españolas and Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez , among others.
Enginco’s Catanduanes recital was sponsored by Silangan Trading, Marem Pension House, Tropang Turismo, Independent Philippines Art Venture, Inc. Catanduanes Tribune, Katandungan Travel and Tours and Mr. Robert Uy and Sunwest Water and Electric Corporation (Suweco).