Academic journal article Notes

William Kanengiser-Classical Guitar and Beyond/LAGQ Live!

Academic journal article Notes

William Kanengiser-Classical Guitar and Beyond/LAGQ Live!

Article excerpt

William Kanengiser-Classical Guitar and Beyond. DVD. Directed by Bill Bay. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2006. 21487DVD. $24.95.

LAGQ Live! DVD. Directed by Doug Witherspoon. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2005. 21047DVD. $29.95.

William Kanengiser's remarkable mastery of the classical guitar extends far beyond the world of the concert soloist. His talents are just as extraordinary when applied to the roles of ensemble performer, composer, and arranger. This comes through loud and clear in two recently released DVDs from Mel Bay Publications.

William Kanengiser-Classical Guitar and Beyond is primarily a performance DVD but it also reveals fascinating information about the performer as well as the compositions he presents. Kanengiser takes time to introduce the viewer to the most important elements of each of the fifteen compositions before he performs them during this 151-minute DVD. These verbal "program notes" can considerably enhance the viewer's understanding and appreciation of each work.

The first half of the DVD presents Kanengiser's performances of works from the standard classical guitar repertory. Pieces by Sor, Aguado, and Giuliani are played with clarity, authority, and tasteful expression.

In the second half of the performance we are treated to pieces written by composers influenced by the Spanish culture, world music and jazz. Great works by Rodrigo, de Falla, Hand, and Domeniconi are lavished upon the viewer with all the power, sensitivity, and poignancy that those great compositions deserve and require. Kanengiser does not hold back; he lets us have it all. But his great tone quality and accuracy never suffer regardless of the fast tempos and his passionate involvement.

A delightful and enlightening feature of this superb DVD is an interview with Kanengiser. The viewer learns about his years of being mentored by classical guitar master, Pepe Romero, at the University of Southern California (USC). Kanengiser, who is now a member of the guitar faculty at USC, also shares some extremely useful advice concerning learning new pieces, conserving motion in playing, and making effective use of practice time.

The pièce de résistance, however, of this DVD is a segment in which Kanengiser makes a humorous presentation at a recent convention of the Guitar Foundation of America. He proves himself to be a superb impersonator as he presents his impression of famous classical guitarists and how they might discuss the future of their art. Whether or not one is familiar with the artists being parodied, this segment will provide the viewer with a howling good time of continuous belly laughs! …

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