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Anabel Montesinos at Westmoreland

By Stephen Brookes • The Washington Post • November 19, 2007

Anabel Montesinos
There may be little music more inherently "guitaristic" than the lyrical, evocative works of 20th-century Spanish composers like Joaquin Rodrigo and Isaac Albeniz. Perhaps that's why the young Spanish virtuoso Anabel Montesinos chose a largely Iberian program for her concert Saturday night at Westmoreland Congregational Church, applying her spectacular technique to works like Rodrigo's "Tres Piezas Espanolas," Albeniz's "Asturias" and works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Manuel Quiroga.

And -- despite being virtually fenced off from the audience by an intrusive microphone setup -- Montesinos brought them all off with style and grace. There's a rare delicacy to her touch that works well with this music, but she's no cringing flower; the charging rhythms of the "Zapateado" movement of the Rodrigo came off with fine, resolute power as well.

The tone shifted in the second half of the concert, when Montesinos was joined onstage by the Cuban guitarist Marco Tamayo -- who is also her teacher and fiancé. The mix of virtuosity and love made for some passionate music; playing their distinctive styles against each other (she sweet and almost impetuous, he darker and more powerful), the pair brought off Bach's "Italian" Concerto and a sonata by Paganini with near flawlessness.

But the most engaging moment may have been the encore: a piece, Tamayo announced, "for four hands and one guitar." As Montesinos played Mozart's famous "Alla Turca" rondo, Tamayo crouched behind her, his face next to hers, reaching around to play the bass line on the lower strings. He nuzzled, and plucked. She blushed, and plucked faster.

Mozart may never be the same.

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 11:03AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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