Dance First

Vincent Lindsey-Clark recital 2020

Our first recital of 2020 saw the very welcome return of composer, teacher and guitarist Vincent Lindsey-Clark. Vincent is renowned for his compositions which have been written for both professionals and students – some being adopted by examination boards. He has written for solo guitar, ensembles and he has written two concertos. His programme included many of these compositions.

His first piece was Pulsar which Vincent explained he had written for the Beatty Classical Guitar Competition in 2009. This was a fast slick piece inspired by his discoveries as an amateur astronomer. By way of contrast, we then moved on to John Dowland’s renaissance piece, My Lady Hundson’s Puffe - a Melancholy Galliard. We then heard three popular Spanish pieces – Tarrega’s Capriccio Arabe, Granada by Albeniz and finally Turina’s Rafaga where Vincent was able to demonstrate his superb Flamenco technique. 

Vincent then left the stage as he gave a brilliant Power Point presentation of the rare and endangered birds of New Zealand which featured in his composition Whenua a te Manu – Land of the Birds. The composition was commissioned by John Crouch for the 2018 New Zealand Taraniki Guitar Summer School. Sasha had set up a screen and scrolled though pictures of the birds while Vincent told us about them. Not all the compositions imitated the bird calls, some emulated their characteristics. The seven birds featured included the Fantail which has a habit of flicking out its tail feathers like a fan. The Tui which has a wide range of calls and is an accomplished mimic. The Ruru which is a small owl with a two note descending call. A cacophony of Penguins squawking and squabbling. A lonely Kakapo — a highly endangered flightless parrot who makes a bass boom call which is not returned. The well known comical Kiwi which scampers around searching for worms. Finally, the Toutouwai a highly endangered grey robin with slow staccato to rapid trill calls. Vincent then played the pieces while Sasha scrolled through the pictures of the birds. The suite was extremely well received. 

The second half of the concert began with the very popular Choros No 1 by Villa Lobos. This was followed by three of Vincent’s own compositions – Mirage, an Arabic sounding piece which was written for a student, Celia by my Side which was commissioned by David Thompson of the Southampton Guitar Society and finally Altitude which Vincent wrote on an aeroplane whilst returning from New Zealand. We then heard the Winter Dreams Suite by Thomas Hartman. This was based on Russian Folk Songs and was originally written for six instruments for a ballet. Vincent had subsequently reduced the music to just one solo guitar. The official concert finished with Vincent’s Rumba for Hayley which he wrote in celebration of the life of a friend’s daughter. Very enthusiastic applause produced a lovely encore – Vincent’s very fine and moving arrangement of the Mountains of Mourne.

This was certainly quite a different concert to what we are used to. We had a presentation on New Zealand birds and Vincent gave us an insight into all the pieces he played – many of which were his own compositions. Vincent is a wonderful performer, arranger and composer and we look forward to his return. In fact he returned just one week later in the guise of adjudicator of the Adult Guitar section of the Chichester Festival of Music, Dance and Speech. 

It was suggested to Sasha that it would be appropriate to have a collection for the unfortunate wildlife in Australia that was suffering in the savage bush fires. I am pleased to report that on the night £100 was raised from the generous donations of the audience. 

Terry Woodgate

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