LIVE REVIEW: Giulio Tampalini @ ARC (20.6.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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At the end of his guitar recital, Giulio Tampalini announces, “The guitar is perfectly out of tune now”. Nothing can describe the consequence of his performance better. A performance that made a quiet afternoon recital in Stockton seem like a sweltering evening of ferocious music in Southern Europe.

Presented by Master Musicians International, the world-renowned Italian guitarist performed at the ARC as part of a series of recitals across the North East. The programme offered a perfect balance for all tastes: Mediterranean-style variations on Mozart’s Magic Flute, Tedesco’s playfully avant-garde Tarantella Italiana, popular yet finely arranged Spanish folk songs and the sublime La Folia de España.

Nothing broke the traditional guitar sound more than Paganini’s Capriccio 24 and Variations on the Carnival of Venice. In between flashes of pizzicato, strumming and vibrato, the audience hummed along with familiar melodies and laughed as the guitar became drunk, silly, woeful, merry, became so endearing that by the end of the performance it felt more like a friend.

In the hands of Tampalini, the guitar is no longer an instrument. It is an orchestra. Or a lone voice talking to the audience, whispering poetry in a familiar foreign language, making us feel what we did not intend to feel, making us remember what we have forgotten. Making time stop. The way only master musicians can.

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