Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bryan Townsend, Guitar

I've been doing this blog for well over a year now and have yet to put up one of my own performances. The main reason for this was simply technical. But a couple of months ago I acquired an iMac and it has all the resources enabling me to put up some stuff. I have a lot of solo performances in the can of Latin-American composers, Spanish music, some contemporary stuff and Bach. And in a short while I am expecting to have some recordings of my own music starting with my song cycle Songs from the Poets.

But for today, I have, I think, managed to put together some images to accompany a short vals venezolano by Antonio Lauro, that I recorded a while back. This is not one of the Venezuelan waltzes that is played a lot (probably because it goes up into the stratosphere on the fifth string!), but it is a favorite of mine. Antonio Lauro (1917 - 1986) wrote a lot of lovely waltzes for guitar in Venezuelan style, which means that they are quick and play around with hemiola a lot (alternating groups of 3 with groups of two). Along with Agustin Barrios from Paraguay, Manuel Ponce in Mexico, Heitor Villa-Lobos in Brazil and Leo Brouwer in Cuba, Antonio Lauro is considered one of the most important guitar composers from Latin America.

Antonio Lauro

To accompany the performance, in the absence of a video, I have selected some photos. The first one was taken when I was in first year university, just finding my feet! Notice the little library and two guitar cases (one for my student Yamaha classical and the other probably for an electric bass). The next photo is from a year or so later, when I was on the verge of going to Spain and actually learning how to play! In the next one, my serious demeanor indicates that I had started to teach at the University of Victoria, where I started the classical guitar program in the 1980s. The next shot was for publicity for a chamber music series I directed in a B&B. Then there is a photo acknowledging applause after a performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Glenn Fast. In the last photo, I am bowing after a performance of a Fantasia by Fernando Sor in the "Wienersaal", the smaller of the two concert halls in the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. So with no further ado, here is Carora, vals venezolano by Antonio Lauro, in my recording:



Nathan Shirley said...

Very nice, very nice.

Bryan Townsend said...

Thank you so much, Nathan!

Isadore Michas said...

Lyrical playing very nice

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks so much Isadore! I really appreciate it, especially coming from a Latin-American.

Christine Lacroix said...

Wonderful,Bryan! How do we find all of your performances on your blog?

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks, Christine. I was quite happy with that recording. If you type "Townsend" into the search field, I think that quite a few will come up.