Guitar-playing is typically associated with coffeeshops, nightclubs, and arenas — but an upcoming performance at Haen Gallery in Brevard elegantly ties virtuosity to fine art. A trio of guitar maestros will showcase the exquisite versatility of the instrument, and the compositions they choose will also highlight its adaptable cross-cultural personality.
“When planning a program, we include music from different musical eras and countries,” guitarist Amy Brucksch explains, “with a mix of tempos and styles. Of course, it’s all music that we love to play.”
She and fellow musicians Steven Newbrough and David Stevenson will open the intimate concert with a classical piece from the Haydn London Trio. They segue from that, which starts things off in a pleasantly light-hearted and sunny mood, into Venice, Italy, home of the Italian Baroque composer Vivaldi. The trio will play his “Concerto Grosso,” which Brucksch describes as “a virtuosic showpiece, with lots of interplay and dialogue between the three guitars.”
Next they shift continents, guiding the audience on a journey to South America via the work of contemporary composer Roland Dyens. They’ll perform passages from his hauntingly beautiful Brazilian Saudade, which he wrote in homage to the Brazilian composer and guitarist Ernesto Nazareth.
Saudade is a rather melancholy term that derives from the Portuguese: it’s a word that conveys intense, but somehow unexplainable, longing and nostalgia. Many music teachers explain saudade to Americans the same way that Brucksch does. Musically, the concept “is somewhat similar to the blues,” she ventures.
Before one gets too far off track and conjures up images of the Mississippi Delta, it’s important to note that Dyens, the fellow who wrote the tune, is generally referred to as French. But adding to the exotic diversity of the set list is the fact that he was born in Tunisia — a little nation in North Africa where the dominant language is Arabic.
“The rest of the program,” Brucksch adds, “is music with roots in either the Spanish folk tradition or Flamenco, contrasting simple poignant melodies with driving rhythms. It definitely ends up-tempo.”
“Three Guitars” happens Sunday, April 10, at 3pm at Haen Gallery (200 King St.) in Brevard, with tea and treats. (Also April 11 at Haen’s Asheville gallery.) $20/general admission, $15/advance, $5/students. For ticket information, see www.panharmonia.org or call 828-254-7123.