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Thursday, April 15, 2004 01:47 pm

Guitar Society’s season ends with return of Javier Calderón

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Javier Calderon

When Springfield Classical Guitar Society founder Russel Brazzel calls Bolivian Javier Calderón "one of the deepest musicians to play Springfield," he's referring to the artist's success not only as a performer of classical music but also as an arranger, publisher, and program director (at the University of Wisconsin-Madison). Calderón's credits include concerts in Buenos Aires, Bonn, Madrid, and Seoul; he's played chamber music in ensembles that have included cellist Yo-Yo Ma; he's played Carnegie Hall and performed in Springfield with the Illinois Symphony.

His return on Saturday to the capital city begins with a series of Italian Renaissance folk dances arranged for the lute. "Everyone who has come under the influence of [classical guitarist Andrés] Segovia loves these dances and plays them. I do myself," Brazzel says. Also in the lighter mode is a "faux Baroque" prelude, for years attributed to a Baroque composer until Manuel Ponce revealed himself to be the author in the early 20th century. "This is a cute thing to do, a charming piece," Brazzel says. The six-movement Lute Suite No. 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach and variations on a Mozart theme by Fernando Sor complete the first half of the program.

The neo-Baroque "Cavatina," by Alexander Tansman, is "one of the crown jewels" of the guitar repertoire, Brazzel notes: "It's modern in the way some Stravinsky is modern." Also on the repertoire: "Aire Indio," an Eduardo Cava composition arranged by Calderón, and three pieces by Isaac Albéniz. "It's a combination of meaty, serious music and flashy crowd-pleasers, too," he says.

Javier Calderón performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. Seventh St. Tickets (available at the door) are $12 for adults, $9 for students and seniors.

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