Welcome to the whirlpool of musical dexterity that the Adelaide International Guitar Festival showcases. Fingers flurry and necks are caressed as first Judicaël Perroy and then the Máximo Pujol Trio woo us with intricate runs, blended harmonies and precise articulation.
Technical skill is not to be questioned here; what distinguishes these performers is the way they share it.
With an opening to astound (Fantasia op 19, Luigi Legnani), French classical guitarist Perroy presents a dichotomy of sound; cascading runs are contrasted with astute slurs and the austere setting is further warmed by his vocal interactions. Not confined by time signatures, the frolicking over frets is complemented by extended tones and a control over delivery that carries us with him. Clearly at ease with Bach, this is one adept guitarist; the fact that he is playing with a borrowed guitar only impresses further.
With flourish, the Argentinian Tango #1 segues to the Máximo Pujol Trio, a partnership that espouses all things Buenos Aires, particularly the music. This is a polished group, full of pizzazz and familial cohesion.
Vibrant and energised, Pujol is joined by his great friends: Eleonora Ferreyra on the bandoneon (piano accordion) and Daniel Falasca with the double bass. Their combined zest is irrepressible. Pujol is unassumingly dynamic, while Ferreyra is full of melancholic verve and Falasca bows/plucks with dynamic control. This three is more than a crowd!
As 21st-century consumers we are instantly gratified by intense bursts of local compositions – the Coastal Road at 7am embraces our senses and images of promenade strolls stroll by; flamenco provides a percussive outlet. Significantly, though, it is the tone of these compositions that reflects most impressively; happiness is unavoidable.
If this performance is an indicator for the tone and quality of this festival, then we can tango towards the program ahead with great confidence.
Artistic director, Slava Grigoryan must be salivating at the opportunity to join Pujol in the gala event planned for Saturday.
Judicaël Perroy and the Máximo Pujol Trio played a one-only show at the Dunstan Playhouse as part of the 2014 Adelaide International Guitar Festival, which continues until Sunday. Pujol will also play with the Australian String Quartet, Pepe Romero and Slava Grigoryan at the Festival Gala on Saturday night.
Guitar Festival stories:
Bass instincts drive unique flamenco fusion (Christopher Hale)
All eyes on guitar wiz Guthrie Govan
2014 Adelaide International Guitar Festival program launch
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