Guilio Tampalini at EGTA
The Dorking event on the 23rd Jan with Giulio Tampalini proved to be a huge success. It was divided into three parts: a short concert, a talk on Villa-Lobos and a masterclass with two players. Giulio clearly won the admiration of his audience, performing a combination of beautifully phrased preludes, choros and studies by Villa-Lobos plus encores by Tarrega. His playing was refreshing, magical and his sound, superb. We could have listened spell-bound for hours.The audience were next treated to Giulio’s skills as a raconteur. This was equally impressive since he carefully selected a wonderfully balanced combination of biographical detail and entertaining stories relating to Villa-Lobos. This gave us the perfect insight to his musical genius as we were transported back in time and across the hemisphere to a young boy growing up, initially under the musical influence of his father and later as a self-taught musician. It was at this point, we were told, that the popular Brazilian melodic genre moulded the man and remained at the core, notwithstanding his huge and varied legacy of repertoire to the music world. The various associations and meetings with other leading musicians of the times were set in clear historical context as the “duality” of South American and European musical fashion was evidently outlined. Wonderful descriptions followed ( during his visit to Europe ) of his famous meeting with Segovia. This included such an element of humour which brought his character to life so well. Did he really wrestle Segovia’s guitar from his hands ?! We were given examples of him being the prankster but also the dilemmas he faced relating to the publication of musical material were fascinating and an eye-opener to the reality of journeying in the harsh professional music climate that existed at the time ( what’s new ! ). The publication of the “Villa-Lobos letters” will obviously be a tremendous source of information to those wishing to learn more about the life and music of the great man and there is also a website museum dedicated to him ( English version ! ): http://www.museuvillalobos.org.br/ingles/index.htm
The coffee break was upon us ( I was now desperately hoping that the beans were from Brazil ! ) and still the treats kept coming. Wonderful home-made sticky cakes were waiting for us and all the refreshments were served up in slick style and the seamless but meticulous programme time-keeping belied the huge organisational effort undertaken by Fiona. There was more !
Following the break we were served up some Torroba and Sor in a masterclass session. Andrew Byrne who is 16 and a current player with the NYGE played the first movement of Torroba’s Sonatina and, one of EGTA’s “own” – Amy Bowles, performed Sor’s Les Adieux Fantasie. These were both highly accomplished musical performances drawing praise from Giulio whilst
providing plenty of opportunity to remind us again of all the “layers” of teaching from posture through to notational errors in the score – not much got past Mr Tampalini !
After the event had concluded about 20 twenty people, approximately one-third of the audience, went to the Dorking Denbies Vineyard to continue catching up with guitar news over a good lunch. It was a great way to end a very inspiring morning. More please!