Paganini Concerto for Guitar with Nicola Hall on Fretworks

The next Fretworks program Saturday evening at 7pm will feature British guitarist Nicola Hall as the soloist for an arrangement of Niccolo Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor in a recording made in 1992.  The guitarist, born in 1969, won awards and made several acclaimed recordings before her career as a professional guitarist was apparently sidelined in the mid 1990s by a tendinitis-like hand injury, maybe what today would be called focal dystonia.

Fortunately for us, there are several fine recordings demonstrating the formidable talent of an artist just in her 20s. The concerto was a virtuoso showpiece for Paganini on the violin, but Hall presents a dazzling display of guitar playing in this transcription as well. The final movement theme “La Campenella,” is familiar in other arrangements, but here makes a fine showcase for Nicola Hall.

Some of the other works on the program will include the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet for an arrangement of music by Claudio Mondeverdi made by Michael Fink, the suite Monteverdiana. Russian Guitarist Rovshan Mamedkuliev will play a fantasia by Spanish composer Joaquin Turina, and the Scottish-born David Russell will perform the Fantasy on Scottish Airs by Fernando Sor.

Canadian Jeffrey McFadden will end the hour with Tarantella by the great Paraguayan guitarist-composer Agustin Barrios.

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