Classical

LAGQ At Its Best

28 JAN 11 JASON SERINUS

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) played wonderfully when it recently performed in San Francisco's Herbst Theatre. The program, Music from the Time of Cervantes, was originally developed with British actor/comedian John Cleese of Monty Python fame and fortune.

With an introduction by quartet member William Kanengiser replacing Cleese's recitations, the 11 delicious selections from the Spanish Renaissance, arranged by Kanengiser, showcased the astounding range of color, expression, and technique for which LAGQ is duly prized. And the two operatic transcriptions that framed the program, Rossini's Overture to The Barber Of Seville and Bizet's "Carmen Suite," were such crowd pleasers that many could not wait until the end to applaud.

As I soaked up all of John Dearman, Matt Greif, Scott Tennant, and Kanengiser's glories from the fourth row, where subtle nuances and inflections carried with clarity, I kept wondering what it was like for folks seated in the top balcony of the notoriously dry theater. Could they hear all the droll little figures in the Rossini that had me suppressing giggles? The guitar, after all, is an extremely intimate instrument. All the more reason to take advantage of Telarc's rich catalogue, and invite the LAGQ into your living room.