Coming up in Philly Music: PCMS pairs cello and guitar in concert

2 minute read
Paraguayan Augustín Barrios is often regarded as one of the most prolific guitarists. (Image retrieved via Wikimedia Commons.)
Paraguayan Augustín Barrios is often regarded as one of the most prolific guitarists. (Image retrieved via Wikimedia Commons.)

Some combinations of instruments become standard items, like the flute and the harp. Others remain novelties, even though they may produce blends and contrasts that are just as attractive. On Friday, March 26, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present a program devoted to one of the less common pairings: the cello and the guitar.

An odd couple

Guitarist Jason Vieaux and cellist Clancy Newman are both stars of the international chamber music circuit. The program they’ve put together should interest anyone who likes concerts that venture outside the standard repertory.

Two of the pieces on the program are 20th-century works that were expressly composed for cello and guitar. Radamés Gnattali’s four-part sonata is a piece by a self-taught Brazilian composer/guitarist whose wide-ranging output included jazz, samba, and background radio noises. A suite by Italian composer Raffaele Bellafronte includes a romance, a tango, and an intense musical portrait of hysteria. Both pieces deliver most of the things many people love about both instruments along with effects that can only be created when they work together.

Vieaux and Newman will round out the program with a cello and guitar arrangement of one of the most likable pieces in the repertory, Manuel di Falla’s Cancione Populare Espanol. Vieaux will solo, in addition, with a waltz by another South American guitarist/composer, Paraguayan Agustín Barrios.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents Jason Vieaux guitar, Clancy Newman, cello streams on Friday, March 26, 2021, at 6pm from the Benjamin Franklin Hall of the American Philosophical Society. The pay-what-you-wish livestream can be viewed online. The video will remain available on demand through the weekend.

Image Description: A black-and-white portrait of Augustín Barrios. He's looking toward the camera wearing a suit, sitting by his guitar, one hand at the neck of the guitar.

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