Iffley Music Society

Andreas Moutsioulis (guitar)

March 13th 2016

Andreas Moutsioulis

Across most of Renaissance Europe, the lute was the normal instrument for domestic music making, but in Spain by the sixteenth century the guitar had become the instrument of choice. Unlike the European lute, the Spanish guitar (in its mature form with six strings) has retained its popularity and has developed its own widening repertoire.

Andreas Moutsioulis is a young virtuoso on the classical guitar. He comes from Greece, has studied music in Greece and at Salzburg, and currently lives in Bristol. In his recital in Iffley Village Hall on 13 March he played ten pieces, of which four came from Spain and four from Latin America. The other two pieces including the opening Songe Capricorne were composed by Roland Dyens, currently Professor of Guitar at the Paris Conservatoire. Both his pieces allude to the atmosphere of South America.

The second piece, Sevillana Fantasia by Joaquín Turina, was an attractive example of Spanish colour and rhythm. Like Albéniz a little earlier, Turina spent some years in Paris where Spanish music was admired for its original rhythms and exotic colour. No doubt both composers were encouraged in Paris to display in their music the authentic dance rhythms of the Spanish regions. The two Albéniz pieces, both in ABA form, evoked the music of Andalusia including flamenco. Tarantas by Paco de Lucia was another piece in flamenco style.

The best known of the Latin American composers in the concert was Astor Piazzola of Argentina. He too studied in Paris, where Nadia Boulanger encouraged him to follow his interest in the Argentine tango. Milonga del Angel was a gentle piece, but the final Libertango displayed more of the characteristic tango energy together with slurring and other effects introducing some jazz colour.

Within its musical world of greater Spain, the concert covered a wide range of musical forms and styles, all of which Andreas Moutsioulis accomplished fluently and effortlessly. His control of timbre and dynamic was superb in eliciting the high and the quiet passion of a fine choice of music.

Tim Brunton