John Williams at the Bridgewater

I was at the Bridgewater Hall again yesterday. The “world’s foremost classical guitarist” John Williams was playing the guitar (John C. Williams, not the American composer John T. Williams, as the musician himself was to point out).

The first half of the set started with:

Three pieces by Vivaldi, then two pieces from Spain; I loved Valses Poetico (Poetic Waltzes) by Enrique Granados. It was followed by four of John’s own compositions: Prelude to a Song, Open End, Song Without Words and Hello Francis (in memory of his friend Cameroonian musician Francis Bebey).

The second half continued with:

Paraguayan composer Agustin Pio Barrios started the set with a beautiful score, followed by three music scores from films (Cinema Paradiso, The Deerhunter and Schindler’s List) and then a piece from Australian composer Peter Joshua Sculthorpe based on an Aboriginal secular tune called Djilile. This was followed by one more own comp in two parts (Notes in the Margin), followed by a few Irish folk songs. For the encore he played a Neapolitan melody.

As usual the venue was amazing, the sound created by one single acoustic guitar was astounding, and the Belgian Chocolate ice-cream was delicious!

Favourite piece? Djilile; it was mesmerising.

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