'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Monday, March 30, 2009

The 'Concierto de Aranjuez', an ancient vinyl & advice on nail care

For a solo performer there is always something particularly exciting about being on stage with an orchestra.
The powerful sound of this mighty instrument, especially when sitting inside it, is incredible, and to be surrounded by so many people with the common interest of making music is a delight.

But not without its worries.
For the soloist a lot is at stake.
They shoulder the responsibility of the major part of the performance.
That's why so many months, and in fact years, go into the preparation. Robin was actually hard at work on this piece the day after this performance and had, as is often the case, learnt much from the previous day's experience.

Robin has performed Rodrigo's, 'Concierto de Aranjuez' a number of times before.
The most prominent being with the Liverpool Philharmonic in front of an audience of 3500 people.

But Saturday's concert with the Fylde Sinfonia, conducted by Peter Buckley, was equally important as was reflected by the full house and enthusiastic audience.

Already a comment, and question, have been left on Robin's site, in the guestbook. For anyone with an interest in guitarists and their nails you may like to read Robin's response!

But being a soloist is also a lonely pursuit.
Here's Robin trying out the acoustics in the venue earlier in the day:

Looking slightly preoccupied here:

The advantage Robin had was his guitar. After much deliberation he decided to use his 1980 Rodriguez. This is such a powerful instrument that only minimal amplification was needed, as you can see in this picture:

Between rehearsal and performance Robin was able to admire some of the other instruments:

Then of course you can always abandon your valuable guitar and leave it balanced precariously on a chair....

The concert itself went very well.
Audience, orchestra and soloist all enjoyed the experience and after the event Robin had the opportunity to speak to many people.
He was somewhat surprised to find himself talking to an ex-pupil, from 1981, who was brandishing a vinyl copy of, 'Virtuoso Music for Two Guitars' on Hyperion label, by Hill/Wiltschinsky!
We have recently re-released this album, plus a few bonus tracks, as 'Arrival'. You can read about it here, and listen to/buy on CD Baby, iTunes and many other digital outlets.


Patty said...

So does Mr. Hill come to the United States very often? We haven't had a guitarist in eons. I've done Rodrigo (on EH) with one of the Romeros and then with ... hmmm ... Parkening. But how often do orchestras bring in guitarists? Not often enough, it seems. I think we've had guitar maybe four times.

LOVE the Rodrigo, of course! I'd love to do that again.

Anna said...

You can call him Robin!!
Robin does go to the US quite a lot although doesn't have any concerto performances planned at the moment.
Speak to your orchestra, Robin just loves to play, whether the Rodrigo or one of his own concerti, he'll be there!
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Tinjofs said...

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Anna said...

Hi and thanks for your comments.

I should add that Robin's nail care is for strength only, and is far from pretty, but it does the job!
However he is always looking for products that will protect his nails yet withstand many hours of playing, so do let me know if you think of anything!