Johannes Moller Saturday 21st May 2005
An impressive selection of varied pieces made up the recital from the young, up and coming Swedish guitarist Johannes Moller currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London.
Commencing with Manuel De Falla Homeneje (to the death of Debussy), his only guitar composition. One was immediately struck by the power and projection of Johannes Moller’s playing painting a dark Spanish mood.
There followed the Sonata by A Jose. The Spanish composer A Jose studied in France with Revel and according to Revel was destined to be the foremost Spanish composer of the century. Alas it wasn’t to be as unfortunately he was executed in the Spanish civil war at a young age however the Sonata as performed showed the depth and promise of his music. The suite consisting Allegro.Moderato, Minuet, Pavana Triste, and Final was powerfully played.
The first half ended with the delightful Junto al Generalife by Rodrigo. This was Rodrigo’s musical impression of the area near the Alhambra. Blind by the age of 3 Rodrigo’s impressions must have been about smells and sounds. This piece had a beautiful unmistakably Spanish sweeping theme and rhythms. At one point the theme metamorphoses into a tantalising tremolo.
The second half started with the rousing Fantasie Hongroise by J. K. Mertz which was slickly performed.
Two Terrega pieces followed. The Prelude No 2 impressively performed to invoke the style of Chopin; indeed Terregaa was sometimes referred to as “the Chopin of the Guitar”. The second piece was Recuerdos de la Alhambra in which Moller demonstrated superb tremolo control in volume, sound colour and tempo range.
The Leo Brouwer Sonata was for me the highlight of the evening. Full of exciting South American and Cuban rhythms the Fananangs y Beleros had its minimalist moments then the more meditative Sarabanda de Scriabin with its Russian flavour and finally the rousing La Toccata.
Following the rapturous applause of a delighted audience Johannes Moller performed as an encore a lovely Terrega piece called La Alborada where clever use of harmonics depicts the sound of a music box.