Fabio Zanon Concert
Our last concert of the season was given by our long standing friend and patron of the Club Fabio Zanon. Fabio attracted a very large audience to the club – surprisingly many were non-guitarists – but everyone enjoyed Fabio’s varied choice of pieces and admired his amazing technique. He first played for our club some 24 years ago while still studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then he has won many prestigious international guitar competitions, including the Francisco Tarrega Prize in Spain and the Guitar Foundation of America Prize in the USA. He has performed throughout the USA, South America and Europe so it is quite wonderful that he still returns to Bognor to play for us.
The programme began with the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BW998) by Bach. This was slowly and precisely executed and showed an amazing technique of movement while still retaining all of Bach’s voicing. The Allegro was played at an incredible speed, yet all the musicality was there. Fabio’s fingers danced all over the fingerboard at lightning speed somewhat reminiscent of a four legged spider, but far more adept than a spider missing half of his limbs! The Bach was followed by three Preludes by his fellow countryman Villa Lobos. Fabio explained that Villa-Lobos had great respect for Bach and incorporated some Bach like passages in his pieces. The first half finished with the Sonatina in A major which Torroba wrote in 1923. Fabio explained that this truly depicts the brightness and exciting life of Spain and is a perfect composition, save for the necessity to retune after each movement.
The sale of Fabio’s cds was very brisk during the interval, which resulted in a sell-out which meant that Fabio, who returned to Brazil the following day, would not have to take any discs home with him.
The second half of the concert featured nine pieces from throughout South America. Fabio explained that until the recent Olympic Games held in Rio, he had not really met or conversed with musicians from other South American countries. This is because in Brazil, Portuguese is spoken while in nearly every other Latin country it is Spanish. We heard pieces by Lauro and Lopez (Venezuela), Casseus (Haiti), Caba (Bolivia), Montana (Colombia), Fabina (Uruguay), Ramirez and Barrios (Paraguay) and Bellinata (Brazil). It was quite clear that Fabio enjoyed playing these pieces and the infectious rhythms captivated both the performer and the audience as all swayed together. The majority of these pieces were quite new to the audience but most enjoyable.
The enthusiastic audience received two encores from Fabio – a piece from Argentina and a love song from the USA by composer and guitarist Frederic Hand. Fabio played a guitar made by the Brazilian luthier Sergio Abreu. This looked quite a small guitar with Fabio, but I think that was an illusion because Fabio is quite tall with very large hands! Many thanks to Fabio for managing to fit in a concert for us during his very tight schedule over here. What an amazing way to finish our concert season.