Every credit to the West Sussex Guitar Club for securing a splendid recital by the internationally famed Argentinian guitarist and composer Jorge Cardoso as the centrepiece of the 7th Annual Guitar Festival in Bognor Regis.
Dr. Cardoso, warmly affable, dispensed with the performers' chair on entry and played disarmingly as a troubadour would - a stance originally adopted for health reasons, as we afterwards learnt. The bright notes of the unamplified Grimaldi guitar resonated through the hall with crystalline clarity and a precision rarely heard. Fingers moved soundlessly between notes across frets and along strings, with no trace of extraneous noise to detract from the musical experience as the maestro engaged intently and almost contemplatively with the melodies of the unfolding programme. This was designed to show that the roots of folk music from different South American traditions (Venezuelan, Argentinean, Uruguayan and Mexican, frequently explored in Jorge Cardoso's own compositions) were clearly apparent in music from the Old World of sixteenth to eighteenth century continental Europe - Luys de Narbaez, Antonio de la Cruz, Francois le Cocq.
The settings of the court and milongas were paired with contemporary folk and popular melodies. Dr.Cardoso drew attention to the notable features of each juxtaposition, skilfully crafted into the repertoire and played with inimitable strength and colour. The expectations of the very responsive audience were amply fulfilled and prolonged applause at the end of the recital merited three cherished encores.
Truly a memorable evening. Many thanks to member/luthier Pablo Requena for translating Jorge's announcements for us. For the record, the 3 encores were Breseiro a Brazilian tango by Ernesto Nazareth, Misionerita by Lucas B Areco and Aire Norteno by Maria L Anido. Jorge has only visited the UK on 5 occasions and we were very privileged to have him come and play for just us. He said that over the past 8 months he has given some 80 concerts and since each concert typically involves 3 days travel, he has been very busy indeed. He planned to return to Argentina shortly after the concert. The professor has written some 400 pieces for guitar, including guitar concertos. We have just purchased a book of some of his compositions for the Club library. He said that this represented some 26 years of work! We have also purchased a number of his cds for the library. Please come and borrow them.