The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet was in the house, and boy can they play!
The LAGQ came to town for multiple concerts, both with your RPO and without, and master classes at the Eastman School of Music. Much to our surprise and pleasure, they agreed to appear on Backstage Pass. We got ready.
There were question marks before the LAGQ arrived. They wanted chairs to be a specific height. Ours were close, but not perfect. The RPO was sending backup seats, just in case. Usually, I have a play list, but the gents said they'd figure it out when they arrived. So where would they sit, and what would they play? Details, details.
They arrived at 11:30--right on time. Our sound genius, Dave Sluberski, had set up the room. with our chairs. Dave Ackroyd, from the RPO, hauled the 4 backups seats with him. There were concerns. 25% of LAGQ, Scott Tennant, has had trouble with his right hand, so there was a question about how much he could actually play for BP. Scott talks about his problem in his blog, Coffee Corner:
As it turned out, the chairs were just fine, the gents opted to all play, and off they went. And it was spectacular. There was a fine selection of Latin American music, some early Spanish music they're putting together for a piece with John Cleese (yes, he of Monty Python fame), a snippet of Interchange, the Sergio Assad work they were playing with your RPO and...oh my, Farewell to Stromness, an utterly breathtaking piano piece by Peter Maxwell Davies that Scott had transcribed for the LAGQ. It is a piece that transports me to a place of utter tranquility every time I hear it, and so it was on that Friday the 13th. With guests in the studio, and a packed control room, the LAGQ took to our airwaves with grace, humor, and humility; the great ones are often the kindest as well. Here are 2 shots from the day:
And then, it was over, and far too quickly.
There are moments during Backstage Pass when I find it hard to breathe, when I can't believe that I have the honor of witnessing such superb musicianship up close: Amy Sue Barston playing raga on her cello, Andrew von Oeyen slowly lifting his hands off the keyboard after a transcendent Claire de Lune, and yes, Farewell to Stromness with the LAGQ. And each time I am reminded that these artists, with their busy schedules, still come into our studios to share their art and their wisdom, and we are all better and more complete because of them. If you missed Backstage Pass, you can hear the conversation part in the podcast; the link is below. And if you want to be their Facebook fan, I've put that link below as well. But after their time here, who wouldn't want to be a fan? I am.
Backstage Pass podcast:
Facebook fan site: