Color, Tempo, and Ponce
Ibison opened the concert with Sonata Romantica by Ponce.
One of the challenges of the guitar is using color in a way that’s both effective and musically sound. One of the things I enjoyed about Chad’s performance of the Romantica was his use of color to highlight sections and help convey phrase structure.
He also made effective use of ritardandi for the same purpose. Though I felt that there were times his performance lost a lot of forward momentum because there was a bit too much.
Dynamics and Rawsthorne
Ibison’s use of color carried over into his next piece, Elegy by Alan Rawsthorne.
First up, you can tell Chad loves this era and style of music; the energy and emotion were through the roof here. Elegy is an interesting piece. It begins with a very dark, emotional section. Then takes off into an incredibly intense, technical middle section, and finally returns to something more along the lines of the original mood.
Ibison was equally at home in the dark, moody sections and in the intense middle section. The fast bits were clean and precise, but still had a lot of the same shape and color that I liked so much in the Romantica.
Dowland & Voice Separation
Fantasie No. 71, attributed to John Dowland, came next. Chad did a great job handling the counterpoint in this one.
To my ear the Dowland didn’t have quite the unrestrained, well-developed interpretation as some of the other works on the program.
I heard Chad play the Ginastera Sonata last summer. He played it well then.
What I heard last Sunday at the library was a more free, better developed interpretation. All the good things I heard in Ibison’s playing earlier where here again. The same energy and emotion poured in Rawsthorne was present in Ginastera. It was a great performance: masterful phrasing combined with technical precision.
Wrap Up: Go See Chad Ibision
Ibison’s bio in the program opened with, “Chad Ibison is gaining attention throughout the United States as an emerging artist of great virtuosity.”
Normally when I read something like that my BS meter hits the red zone. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised: Ibison is indeed an emerging artist of great virtuosity.
He’s still a very young classical musician without the more mature interpretative skills of some of his other contemporaries. That said, Chad is a great player. Go see him if he comes to your area, and look for him to do some great things in the guitar world.