February 11, 2009

Real Men Do File Their Nails...

Dottie: Wait a minute -- run that business about the nail filing by me again, please?

Flo: So, a couple of members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet are up in their dressing room at rehearsal, and they're standing there doing this group nail-filing thing. Of course, as guitarists, they need to have these lovely, long fingernails on their right hand to get the effect on the strings that they're looking for.

Dottie: If I meet them backstage, will they shake my hand?

Flo: Of course. They're really friendly and easy-going guys. But TALK about artistry...

Dottie: Really? What do you mean?

Flo: I heard them at rehearsal, and their individual and group technique is incredible! The audience will love them, and it's really rare to have any guitar quartet performing with orchestra, especially one of their stature.

Dottie: What's their setup going to look like on stage?

Flo: They sit in a semi-circle, and as you look at the orchestra, they're stting to Christopher Seaman's left so that they can connect with him during the piece. And they have really short music stands and foot rests to balance the guitar.

Dottie: How about the piece that they're playing? Not many people know about it, because this is only the second performance. San Antonio heard it last week at its world premiere, right?

Flo: Yes, San Antonio Symphony had the first performance. You'll hear lots of different musical styles in the piece -- called "Interchange" -- including Latin, Renaissance, Jewish, Spanish, jazz, interesting Brazilian syncopated rhythm, and even blues. At one point, three of them start clapping on the off-beat, while the fourth is playing a virtuosic solo.

Dottie: So, you know, this is the big romantic Valentine's weekend. Is this a good date concert?

Flo: Oh yeah! Romeo and Juliet (the star-crossed lovers), Carmen (the bad girl from Bizet's famous opera), and of course, Debussy's gorgeous and impressionistic "Iberia." A perfect Valentine's bouquet.

Dottie: Okay, I'm inspired. Off to file my nails. See you at the Theatre!

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