Aquarelle Guitar Quartet

Church Stretton School

July 31st 2018: 7:30 pm

A Review, of thoughts


(Photo by Daniel Killoran)


The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet played at the Church Stretton & South Shropshire Arts Festival recently and I was able to see this excellent performance.

The programme itself was very interesting indeed, unusually 90% of the works were new to me, This was very refreshing - great to hear some different repertoire for the classical guitar and I enjoyed every piece of music. The quartet has a beautifully balanced sound and with many of the arrangements done by members of the quartet they are able to showcase the strengths and talents of each member.

I am not a music expert and won't try to critique each work. I will mention that I was particularly impressed by the Opals Suite, written by the Australian Composer Philip Houghton, who sadly died last September at the age of just 63. With the three movements entitled Black Opal, Water Opal and White Opal, the composer included notes in the score on the various exotic colours that he was trying to depict in the music - colours generated by light shining on and through the opals.

For more details about the quartet and samples of their music please visit their website here

There was an outstanding performance from James Girling, standing in for Rory Russell whose wife was due to give birth around the time of this concert. The amount of work done to prepare for this event at relatively short notice was incredible. He gave an assured performance and was thanked by the other members of the quartet. Watch this space for more information on this very talented classical and jazz guitarist.

Programme Details:

Sinfonia to L'Italiana in Algeri Gioachino Rossini
Opals Philip Houghton
Comme un Rond D'eau Roland Dyens
Alfonsina y el mar Ariel Ramirez
Ajde Dali Znaes Pametis Milice/Pajdusk M. Tadic & V. Stefanovski
Cumba Quin Carlos Rafael Rivera
La Muerte del Angel Astor Piazzolla
The Swan Catriona McKay
De Ushuaia a la Quiaca Gustavo Santaolalla
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence Ryuichi Sakamoto
Uarekena Sergio Assad