What a show!  The Brasil Guitar Duo took us to so many places Friday night – and in the best way.  From their opening tango Zita (by Piazzolla, on you tube) they changed direction and played a stunning Rameau arrangement by Joao Luis before heading back to the 20th century with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s C# minor Prelude and Fugue.  The rest of the evening’s music was from Brazil, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t tremendously varied.  We saw tons of speed, lots of accent and rhythmic drive, but we also heard tremendous depth throughout.  A Fala da Paixao by Gismonti, toward the end of the concert, had the audience of about 600 totally captivated.

In fact their second to last selection – also Gismonti – Forrobodo, was so spectacular that many in the audience thought the concert was over!  They received an exuberant standing ovation, along with several bouquets of flowers.  They left the stage at that point, and came back out to play their final, programmed piece, as their encore!

Here are a few choice shots from photographer Arlen Nydam.

The duo arrived on Friday late-morning from New York.  We grabbed a quick lunch (cheeseburgers from Five Guys) and headed over to KUT radio for a live performance on Michael Crockett’s Horizontes on KUT 90.5FM.  They had just a few hours in their hotel, before heading over the UT’s Bates Recital Hall to warm up.  Here they are trying out the hall (which they loved!).

Each year for the past 5 or so years, it’s been my pleasure to work with my dear friend Michelle Schumann and her fabulous Austin Chamber Music Center.  Their marvelous summer festival is just getting under way – so be sure and check out the great stuff still to come!  Here we are doing our little pre-concert comedy routine!

The concert was truly superb.  Michelle and I brought the BGD here three years ago, and we were excited to have them back again.  Their performance Friday showed us just how good they really are.  From their original compositions and new arrangements, to their fantastic music-making overall, we, and our audience, were overjoyed.  Here’s a shot of the standing ovation.