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Guitarist Adam Holzman plays Cruz, Assad

January 29, 2007

Adam Holzman
The Washington Post 1/29/07:
  Classical guitarist Adam Holzman, who's becoming increasingly renowned for his thoughtful and finely polished interpretations, brought his considerable talents to the Westmoreland Congregational Church on Saturday, as part of the Marlow Guitar Series. And he showed himself to be an assured and uncommonly lucid player, with a precise touch, a rare gift for voice-leading and impressive attention to detail in virtually everything he played.

Those virtues notwithstanding, it still took much of the program for Holzman to really get under the skin of the music. He delivered three of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas -- works rich in strange and edgy imagination -- with cool efficiency, then followed with his own transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 3 for solo cello. It's a powerful and almost confessional work, with startling emotional turns -- even its depths have depths, as they say -- and Holzman's transcription is quite persuasive. But he played it almost as an etude; graceful rather than probing, and lacking in much to grab you by the ears.

But the waters deepened considerably after intermission, with a beautifully detailed account of "Triptych" by Texas-based composer Mark Anthony Cruz. Highly impressionistic and colorful at first, it deepens into more abstract territory and culminates in a dark, richly flavored and highly evocative movement, and Holzman played it with real understanding.

Sergio Assad
"Three Greek Letters," by the Brazilian composer and guitarist Sergio Assad, was, if anything, even better. It's an extremely intelligent and very "guitaristic" work, brilliantly textured and passionately intense, that displays Assad's sophisticated and highly individual voice to great advantage. Holzman rose to the challenge, bringing it off with conviction and style.

Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:23PM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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