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Tom Kerstens – Guitar

Wigmore Hall Sunday 27th May 2007

Scheduled programme:
Enrique Granados : Danzas Españolas
Emilio Pujol: Guajira
Manuel de Falla : Homenaje sur le Tombeau de Debussy, El Círculo Mágico, Danza del Corregidor
Gabriel Jackson: Fantasy with Chorale (and Bells) PREMIERE
Astor Piazzolla: Three Pieces
Alberto Ginastera: Sonata op 47

Tom Kerstens opened his recital with Leo Brouwer’s Cuban Landscape with sadness, then a bizarre improvisational link into Granados' Danzas Españolas No.4.

He linked several pieces together throughout the evening, very unusual in a classical concert. I felt particularly in the Granados there was a strong lack of pulse, which was largely due to Kerstens struggling with some of the technical passages. However his performance of Falla's Homanaje (Pour le tombeau de Debussy) was spell-binding; his best of the evening.

Kerstens informed the audience he had prepared a full programme sent to the venue, but it had become ‘lost’, so the audience had to make do with a sheet of A4 paper just outlining the programme, without programme notes or biographies. An introduction to Gabriel Jackson's work would have been much appreciated; it seemed to lack direction or a sense of structure.

Two unidentifed Piazzolla works made a lighter contrast, but again Kerstens' account lacked rhythmic and dynamic direction.

To conclude Kerstens performed Sonata op. 47 by Ginastera (not included on the programme as provided nor even announced, but familiar to guitarists). Kerstens' performance felt rushed (as with earlier proceedings in this disappointing evening) - so much so that I could only count three movements.

Georgina Whitehead