On Friday evening, March 1, HCC’s own music faculty Professor Mark Switzer, DMA, played to a record breaking 318 member audience in the Student Services Auditorium on the Dale Mabry campus. It was the fourth concert in a five concert series sponsored by the Dale Mabry Student Government Association.
Switzer, in his words described his concert pieces as old friends—some classical, some jazz. He began with classical guitar favorites by Isaac Albéniz, Leyenda and Mallorca, Op. 202, from Cantos des España, followed by Torroba’s three movement Sonatina in A Major. He used two of Roland Dyen’s works, the three movement Saudade No. 3, and Tango en Skäi and Jorge Morel’s Danza Brasilera as interesting effective transitions to the jazz pieces which followed, as they are classical guitar pieces which incorporate elements of jazz and blues, such as rich complex “jazz” chords and rhythms, blues licks and bent notes.
Switzer switched guitars, from a standard classical guitar to a “cut-away” electrified classical/jazz hybrid guitar before beginning Morel’s Danza. He then played his versions of Jimmy van Heusen’s Here’s that rainy Day, Thelonius Monk’s ‘Round Midnite, Harry Warren’s There Will Never be Another You and Paul Desmond’s Take Five (arr. Morel/Switzer).
Switzer received a standing ovation and so came back and played an encore, George Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over You, arranged by John Hummer, one of Switzer’s former students, for which he received another standing ovation.
On Friday, March 22, 2013, internationally acclaimed concert guitarist, Jason Vieaux offered up the fifth concert of the Dale Mabry SGA Classical Guitar Series. Mr. Vieaux played to an audience of 226 who attended despite the torrential rains that plagued Tampa that evening. True to his bio, “he is among the elite of today's classical guitarists (Gramophone), who goes beyond the classical. He has earned a reputation for putting his expressive gifts and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music…” which he demonstrated in his HCC recital. He began with a classical tour de force by Mauro Giuliani, the Grand Overture, Op. 61, and followed that with Bach’s Lute Suite No. 1 in e minor, BWV 996. After the classical and baroque works he played a 20th Century classical guitar warhorse, Benjamin Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op. 70. This is an interesting work on many levels not the least of which because it is a theme and variations in reverse--The basis of the composition (the theme) was the melody from the lute song, Come Heavy Sleep by the Renaissance composer John Dowland, whose melody we hear at the end of the composition.
Jason then played a new composition which tied in a more popular sound, the blues, with Dan Visconti’s The Devil’s Strum. This piece also brings to bear the legend of Robert Johnson, and of his pact with the Devil.
The program began winding down in a very upbeat way with Roland Dyens’ guitar arrangement of Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim’s A Felicidade, and José Luis Merlin’s delightful Argentine flavored six movement Suite Del Recuerdo, which became a very popular classical guitar work after Jason recorded it. Incidentally, it was published by former HCC History Faculty, Dr. Richard Long’s publishing company the award winning Guitaromanie Editions of Tuscany Publications.
The Dale Mabry SGA Guitar Series will start again in the Fall of 2013 featuring a brand new line-up of local and international guitarists. For more information on the guitar series, please contact Mark Switzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Kathryn Pantelis at email@example.com