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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

A Guitar Programme is like a Three Course Meal

Both player and audience should relish every morsel

Finding myself in Italy this week, the land of good food, my thoughts have turned to an interesting connection. A guitar recital programme is not very different from a good lunch or supper: you have your starter, main course and dessert. What's more, food and music complement each other. One satisfies a physical need, the other a spiritual one.

So imagine your physically satisfied audience awaiting in the foyer the start of your concert. They have just had a good supper. They are expecting now a lovely musical complement to it.

You, the artist, has planned and practised the programme, a new programme. For you it feels like a first night at the theatre. In many ways it is just the same. You have those butterflies in the belly, our old friend the nervous system is having its say.

There is an excited buzz of conversation in the foyer. Ushers attend to last minute details. There are thirty minutes to go. You have tried out the sound on the stage, decided the lights, run through some of the pieces. You retire to the dressing room to change into your concert clothes, or already in your attire, sit and rattle through difficult passages.

Here is the perfect scenario. You kick off with some easy music, easy for you to play and for the audience to settle. You continue with something more extended, and continue to win over your listeners. So far you have said nothing. Now, half way into the first part, if you have the confidence to do so, you speak to introduce the main course of the first part. The audience are curious, involved and expectant. You lead them to the interval by playing something which demands less concentration but which will encourage the audience to imbibe interval drinks with delight. As you can see comparisons with food and drink are creeping in.

The second part is now upon us, and the danger zone

You may decide a change of mood is required. You present something in a different style from the first part. Why? Because your audience with the taste of a glass of wine or beer still uppermost in their palate need a new stimulus. After this comes the danger zone. The listener has been listening to you for close to an hour of music. Concentration is under threat, vying with enthusiasm, which is still strong.

A second stimulus in this part of the recital is required. Turn up the emotional heat or play something guaranteed to please. The audience will now be either relaxed or on the edge of their chairs, no matter which. What does matter is that you have them feeding from the palm of your hand.

You are now on the home straight. Your wildly enthusiastic audience knows there are only two or three more pieces to go to the finishing line. Do you have the stomach to lead them there? Notice my discrete reference to food there. Now serve them the musical dessert they have been craving, with dollops of cream and melting hot chocolate.

Of course there are other ways of presenting a programme. I have tried many. But my recipe here is well and truly tried and tested. I know it works.

This has been my rough guide to planning a programme menu or programme, whichever you prefer to call it.

Celano, Rome, Italy, 1 April 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=1161 .
© 2017.

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