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Gerardo Perez Capdevila

By Stephen Neal Dennis

After the success of Andres Segovia and Carlos Montaya in turning the guitar into a concert instrument, transcribing music by earlier composers into guitar arrangements, and encourging great composers in the Hispanic world to write new pieces for the instrument, there is now a vast literature for the guitar, both classical and folk.  Cuban guitarist GERARDO PEREZ CAPDEVILA, a winner of many international prizes, presented sixteen pieces and one encore at the residence of Romanian ambassador  that hinted at the extent of this musical landscape.  Capdevila teased his audience, mixing up music by major composers and music by less well-known composers, and avoiding any attempt to put things into a chronological sequence. Of course Ernesto Lecuona’s immortal “Malaguena” was one of the three pieces by Lecuona, performed, but perhaps the high point of the evening was Capdevila’s performance of Albeniz’ “Asturias”. There was no commentary from the performer, as the length of the program hardley left room for embellishments.  When the great double doors of the dining room were opened after the concert, the Embassy Series audience discovered an immense table covered with marvelous Latin American and Cuban food.  During the buffet, an Embassy Series board member encouraged guests to purchase a CD of Capdevila’s abilities.  Tempted by the opportunity to hear four Scarlatti sonatas performed on the guitar, guest bought most of the cds that were available.