giovedì 9 agosto 2012

Frank Bungarten in concert in Venice. Shed notes by Leonardo De Marchi



Italian Translation

Frank Bungarten is one of the men at the top of the international guitar: protagonist of a bright career, the virtuoso of Cologne has divulged a repertoire that wonder between the XVII and the XX centuries, with ample and motivated recourse to the transcripts from musics written for other instruments.
His interpretative spirit, countersigned by extreme clarity and lucidity, is testified by a discography that in the last years has imposed itself on the international scene for quality and dimensions, two different aspects that not always mix themselves together. Among the musics proposed by the German guitarist I would like to quote the integral transcript of the "Sonaten und Partiten" for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, the studies for guitar by Fernando Sor, the integral of the guitar works by Heitor Villa-Lobos and the "Caprichos de Goya" by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
Several times guest of numerous musical institutions in our country, Bungarten has been protagonist of a two days meeting in the Conservatory in Venice: opening the brief kermesse his concert on April the19th, that we go here to review.
Playing a heterogeneous program that foresaw music by Kapsberger (a choice of Preludi and Toccate), Sor (twelve studies op. 29), Torroba ("Castillos de Espana" and other scores) and Rodrigo ("A tiempo famous Italic fue"), Bungarten has shown rare dowries for interpretative maturity and emotional estate during the whole concert. His interpretation has not only been able to underline proven quality of Kapsberger, Sor and Torroba’s scores, but also to confer importance to passages like Rodrigo’s one, that essentially shines for the great virtuosity necessary for the performer.
I mention in particular the whole execution of Kapsberger, directly performed on a eight strings guitar and played directly from the intavolatura (decidedly unusual for a guitarist!), and the interpretation of the studies op. 29 by Sor. The German virtuoso has given here probation of total control on his instrument and also of refined and spontaneous musicality, being able to build togheter a solid sense of the musical structure and an effective emotional connotation of the salient moments. I like to underline how Bungarten has been able to impose himself on the stage without any virtuoso muscular exhibitions, but with a spontaneous charisma showed with naturalness and variety of colors in every single passage.

The only aspect that I personally don’ share is the choice to play “Un tiempo fue Italica famosa”  by Rodrigo, passage that – as I said before - qualitatively perhaps is not one of the more meaningful pages of the Spanish author. Bungarten’s interpretation however has showed his effectiveness all in this case.
In synthesis, we have assisted to such not a common or usual concert. The courage and the interpretative refinement as those of which Bungarten has given probation works like stimulus in two different directions: from a side they push to widen the search and to revisit a repertoire of great value, that goes out of the group of the few passages obsessively proposed on the occasion of festivals, recordings and competitions devoted to the guitar; from the other side, these choises are essential to help our instrument to exit from the circle of the guitar festivals and to bring it on the stages of the great international institutions with quality and authoritativeness.


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