Well, they’ve done it again!

The LA Guitar Quartet always has the coolest programs.

They are starting with “Two African Pieces” (Mbira & Djembe) arranged by William Kanengiser and Andrew York, respectively.  Such cool pieces!  I’ve heard them play these before, and it’s a light, rhythmic, wonderful way to start off the show.

Things heat up quickly, though, with a giant Kanengiser arrangement of 6 selections from Stravinky’s “Pulcinella”!  You can always count on Bill to push the boundaries of what classical guitar can do.

The first half speeds to a close with a set of five Brazilian pieces. The composers are Paolo Bellinati, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, Heitor Villa-lobos, and Baden Powell.

Listen to the LA Quartet performing a Bach Brandenburg Concerto now!

“On All Fours” by Portland music magician Bryan Johanson (b.1951) begins the second half.  Then we’ll feel the jazz influence of the LAGQ’s newest member Matt Greif with a set of three “Post-Bop” Classics: So What (Miles Davis) Blue in Green (Davis) and Giant Steps (John Coltrane).

And the program ends with 12 vignettes of Manuel de Falla’s iconic “El Amor Brujo” arranged by Bill Kanengiser.

Get your tickets online or give us a call at 512-300-ACGS!  See you there.



P.S. – I thought you might enjoy reading Bill’s program notes on the de Falla.  Here they are, to help prepare you for the magic!

Manuel de Falla was one of the greatest Spanish composers of the 20th century, and despite the fact that he only wrote one very brief piece for guitar, arrangements of his music have become a staple of the guitarist’s repertoire. Some of the most popular are individual movements from his ballet El Amor Brujo, scored originally for full orchestra and mezzo-soprano.

About twenty years ago, I decided to attempt to arrange the entire ballet for four guitars. What is lost in orchestral color is perhaps gained in the authentic gypsy sonority of the guitar, which de Falla in some way was trying to convey in his original. Set in a gypsy camp, the story deals with Candelas, a beautiful young girl, who is being courted by Carmelo. Complicating matters, the spirit of her former lover, a soldier killed in battle, haunts her and the gypsies. The piece opens with a strong theme that represents the jealousy of the ghost. Later, we find ourselves “In the Cave” with a brooding mystery. In “The Song of Sorrowful Love,” Candelas sings of the pain of an unattainable Love. The ghost then flies into the cave and the gypsies launch into “The Dance of Terror”. Striving to rid themselves of the apparition, they join hands around the Fire, and have a séance in the gentle “Magic Circle”. They then try to exorcise the ghost in the furious “Ritual Fire Dance” which ends with insistent chords as they try to stamp the spirit out into the fire. Magic, it seems, cannot break the spell, as the ghost reappears, and Candelas sings of the fleeting nature of Love in “the Song of the Will o’ the Wisp”. It is then that she decides to use love instead of sorcery, and she persuades her friend Lucia to dance a seductive Tango (in 7/8 time) to lure the ghost way. At the end of this “Pantomime” movement, the opening theme of the ghost is just a whisper. This leaves Candelas and Carmelo free to exchange the kiss that will break the spell, as they dance a bulerías in “The Dance of the Game of Love”. In the “Finale” Candelas sings to the ghost: “I am the fire in which you are consumed; I am the sea in which you drown!” As the “Bells of Dawn” peal triumphantly, we find that love, not witchcraft, is the most powerful sorcerer.

– Bill Kanengiser