The setting of Grove Garden Chapel Richmond of Spanish guitarist José Manuel Dapena first Richmond Guitar Society was very intimate. A lively rendering of Sor’s Sanata Op 15 got the concert off to a good start.
This was a wholly Spanish evening and what followed was a suite of pieces by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza entitled Platero y yo, Platero, La azottea, and La Muerte. The suite was inspired by the Spanish poem Plateru and I by Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958). After each piece was performed the inspiration passages from the poem were recited by Martin Shaw from an English translation. This was a very engaging combination that left the audience spell bound. José’s vivid poignant playing came across wonderfully.
José finished first half with three familiar pieces by Turina; Rafaga, Gandanguiilo and Fantasia Sevillana played with red-blooded Spanishness and benefiting from the good acoustics of the chapel.
The second half continued with Turina. José kept up the standard with Danzas Gitanas, Zambra, Danza de la Seduccion, Danza Ritual Generalife and Sacro Monte. The second half came to a dramatic conclusion on a with three pieces by Albeniz, Sevilla, Granada and the famous Asturias.
For the encore José played Guardame las vacas (watch over my cows) by Narvdez a majestic 16th century piece that contrasted nicely with the more modern repertoire before.