Fine guitar concert at Linton

The Akaroa Mail, Friday February 22 2002

Reviewed by Jim Marron

Bruce Paine playing his new Capper guitar brought the wonderful sounds of Spain to Akaroa Saturday night Feb 9th at Linton, Josie Martin''s B&B on Rue Balguerie.

The clear harmonies and tonal colors carried a distinct Spanish signature.

The subtle tambura tapping he used in the opening piece "Fandanguillo" by Turina gave the music a tangy flamenco tone that increased as the night progressed.

The polished precision of the second piece on the programme, "Homenaje" by Manuel de Falla was a beautiful tribute to the impressionist com-poser Debussy.

The dark and serene opening to the third piece, "Invocation and Dance" by Joaquin Rodrigo, the world renowned Valencia music master, ended with a very melodic dance.

The composer Miguel Llobet who was the Master guitarist Andres Segovia''s mentor and teacher, was rep-resented on the program with three musical excerpts that were an excellent example of Catalonian storytelling ballads.

Although the artist played the ballads expressively, unfortunately he did not elect to sing the lyrics associated with them, which would have made for a much more interesting presentation of this material.

He closed the first half of the recital with the six-part "Suite del Recuerdo" by Jose Luis Merlin. Overall Bruce Paine''s playing was both technically superb and emotionally sensitive to the variety of colors and feelings of the compositions selected.

At the intermission Josie Martin provided the audience with a tasty supper and an opportunity for us all to mingle and exchange pleasantries and local gossip while enjoying the endless supply of hot and cold hors d''oeuvres streaming out of her kitchen.

The second half of the concert was a more intimate sharing of the artist''s own musical influences in his life. He started by playing a classic Spanish-style composition by a Czech composer Stepan Rak with whom Bruce Paine shared the concert stage in Prague a few years ago.

The two compositions by Rak serve to illustrate the robust technical demands of the composer and Bruce''s ability to meet them.

The tremolo effects of "Remembering Prague" gave the listeners a full orchestral experience difficult to achieve utilizing only the guitar.

The same technical demands on the artist were made in the second Rak composition "Cry of the Guitar" a tribute by the composer to the poet Garcia Lorca.

Bruce Paine handled both these unique compositions with ease and a fluidity that the audience rewarded with solid applause.

The remaining four pieces played were classic 20th century compositions that have been imbedded in our collective unconscious.

The familiarity of these pieces led one to feel at home with the artists rendition of them.

These works by Joaquin Rodrigo, Isaac Albeniz, and Enrique Granados were followed by a transcription piano for guitar of "Seville" by Albeniz.

Seville is the original home of flamenco guitars and dancing and the faultless execution of this rousing anthem to gypsy life left the audience hearing the echoes of Spain here in Akaroa.

The audience''s appreciation for this outstanding performance by Bruce Paine was re-warded with an encore of a beautiful lullaby by Leo Brouwer that allowed everyone to peacefully drift off into the night with a satisfaction that we were in Spain for a couple hours.

I only hope Josie Martin is fortunate enough to get Bruce Paine back for a repeat performance later this year or next year.

If he does, don''t miss it!