Barbara Rose Shuler
SYMPHONY ENDS SEASON WITH PANACHE
"Two warm and engaging classial guitarists, Jeffrey Van and Patricia Dixon, played four works, including the California premiere of Van's Concerto for Two Guitars and Chamber Orchestra"
"Tamarkin brought us another scintillating new work in Van's concerto. The work was made possible by Dixon, whom Van describes as his friend and colleague. Her Chilean heritage is represented in various distinctive and compelling elements in the music. "The virtuoso guitars were expressive and even hypnotic at times in a captivating give and take with the orchestra." The composition evoked a broad palette of moods in its four movements, culminating in a festive allegro inspired by an ancient melody from the Altiplano region of South America associated with the carnival season. This was a special and engaging piece, particularly because both the composer and the woman for whom it was written were the soloists".
"all the music was delivered with panache"
CALIFORNIAN, MONDAY, MAY 19, 2003
SYMPHONY'S FINALE A RIP- ROARING EVENT
" Next we heard the California premiere of an important new work, "Concerto for Two Guitars and Chamber Orchestra", by Jeffrey Van. This charming 25-minute composition featured the composer himself as soloist, joined by Chilean guitarist Patricia Dixon. Van is a gifted composer who has much to say and is skilled enough to say it with sincerity and economy, for he never tries to be clever, and he doesn't squander his resources. This is a pleasing work, and in addition to succeeding as a virtuoso vehicle for two guitars and orchestra, it also succeeds as a piece of pure music".
"Not only was the second movement, "Allegro Violente", a masterpiece of effective writing for guitar and orchestra, but it also showcased some superb virtuoso playing by the two soloists. The material was consistently effective in its contrast between rhythmic and melodic elements, and the mournful central episode based on the Chilean protest song " The People United Will Never Be Defeated", by Sergio Ortega, was one of the most moving moments of the afternoon".
"After intermission, the two soloists returned to the stage and announced there was to be a program change. Instead of performing the Vivaldi Concerto in G Major, RV, 532 with orchestra, they opted to perform the concerto's slow movement, " Andante", without orchestra, and then perform two arrangements for guitar duet," Under the Palm Tree" by Albeniz, and "Zapateado" by de Falla. These turned out to be charming performances, simply but effectively presented with no extraneous show biz "flash and dash."
" This was pure music-making of a very high order".