Aquarelle Guitar Quartet Concert

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet Concert


Gioacchino Rossini - Overture from L'Itlaiana in Algeri (arr. Richard Safhill)

Rimsky Korsakov - Capriccio Espangnol (arr. Bill Kanengiser)

Clarice Assad - Bluzilian

Egberto Gismonti - Palhaco (arr. James Jervis)

Roland Dyens - Bresils

David Prichard - Stairs

Catriona McKayThe Swan (arr. Michael Baker)

Paulo Bellinati - A Furiosa


It was a real treat to welcome the Aquarelle to play at the North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society (NESCGS) 4 th Annual Spring Concert & Workshop, (even if we had slightly drifted into summer). Selecting an artist for our major event of the year tries to balance the needs for a stimulating concert that appeals to the public and being talented and inspirational tutors for hands-on players. Aquarelle met the bill four fold.

Several society members had seen Aquarelle a few years ago at WoodEnd Barn in Banchory and the seeds were laid then that we would have them return to North East Scotland as soon as possible. Between the booking and the concert, we are pleased for the quartet to receive 5 stars from the BBC Music Magazine for their current CD, Spirit of Brazil. The art of quartet playing is a very unique talent, reflected in the fact that there are very few guitar quartets on the scene so this recognition is very welcome.

The music spanned from romantic through to present day composers and compositions. Indeed, most of the composers are still alive, which is a rare statement for an ostensibly ‘classical' concert. Many of the works were arrangements by members of the quartet which implicitly reflecting their individual characters and interests.

All pieces were played with poise, precision and musicality and it was a joy to listen. The real appeal of this quartet is the amazing sounds and rhythms that can be and are generated by the 4 players. The highlight for me was ‘A Furiosa' composed by the Brazilian Paulo Bellinati. As well as being based on the Brazilian maxixe dance style (I would have said a calypso feel), there were some wonderful percussive motifs. Second favourite would be Palha ç o (‘The Clown') by Egberto Gismonti which was arranged by James Jervis in the group and which had some quirky discordant notes reflecting the title.

All in all, 4 nicer guys you couldn't hope to meet and excellent ambassadors for our chosen instrument. They departed Aberdeen as firm friends and they will be brought back soon.

Peter Stock

Chairman, NESCGS