Duelling guitars? Not a bit of it

I've been waxing lyrical over the last couple of weeks about the cultural opportunities afforded us this summer by the various Edinburgh festivals. Another such event is one which you too can enjoy for the next 5 days or so courtesy of the BBC iPlayer service.

Mr Tracks and I attended a concert yesterday given by the world-renowned guitarists, John Williams and John Etheridge. It was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, hence now being available on the iPlayer.

Apart from being two instrumentalists at the top of their games, one of the enticing things about this pairing is that they hail from completely different musical backgrounds. John Williams is classically trained, whereas John Etheridge is a jazz and blues man. So the fusion of these two styles, not necessarily a natural one at first look, was something I was really interested to hear.

They played a fascinating repertoire of global pieces, embracing music from Africa and South America as well as performing their own compositions and even a work about a horse which Beethoven once owned. They played together in complete synergy – each in a way which complemented the other, so much so that you often could not tell who was playing which part. The blending was remarkable considering that John W was playing an acoustic guitar, while John E was playing both a steel-stringed and an electric guitar (but not at the same time!).

It was stunning to see these two men totally at ease with their instruments and each other producing such wonderful music – I know you won't get this from the broadcast, but I'm certain you'll find the concert worth a listen nonetheless.

 

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