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Monday, August 13, 2012

Pyatt Recital Hall at Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music a gem

On Sunday morning at 11 am I heard the excellent Oberon Guitar Trio perform a one-hour program of mostly Canadian new music at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music's Pyatt Recital Hall. This is by far the best-sounding recital hall for classical guitar in Vancouver. One can hear the complete dynamic range of the guitar; you can hear a pin drop. And when the flamenco techniques start up and the big chords come, they sound really big.

The Oberon played a perfect set. Their choice of music creates a wonderful flowing and satisfying program from beginning to end. Their Alice in Wonderland piece by Claude Gagnon is their signature piece, available on their "Music of Our Time" CD. They played it with verve. The new works by Nicolella and Sasquoia were welcome additions to the guitar repertoire, the Nicolella being particularly effective, with some hallucinogenic density-building chord progressions. The Beauvais was great too.

Not intending to write "a review" of the concert, I really wanted to emphasize how welcome the Pyatt Hall is to Vancouver for classical guitar and also to congratulate VSO School of Music Guitar department director (and excellent guitarist) Daniel Bolshoy on programming a great "Guitar Day" as part of MusicFest Vancouver. I wish I could have spent the whole day there to here fellow-guitarists Ed Henderson, Celso Machado, and Daniel (playing with another Vancouver treasure, cellist Ari Barnes), but 'twas not to be…

So look out Vancouver for more chamber music concerts at Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music.