The Sydney Classical Guitar Society’s annual concert , this year entitled ENSEMBLE EXTRAVAGANZA,  has long been one of the most popular and exciting events on the Society’s calendar and after being in the lucky audience I can understand why!

The CGS Orchestra and Ensemble were featured with special guests including the Canberra Guitar Society, who trekked all the way especially for the occasion, the Segovia Ensemble, the Hills Ensemble, the Carmen Trio, Completely Plucked and more.

The varied program included works by Vincent Lindsey-Clarke, Mark Houghton(UK), Eric Clapton, Percy Grainger, Roland Dyens, Haydn, and Albeniz.

Particular highlights were the premiere performances of Christopher Keane’s 3 movement work Frets and Leonard Weiss’ Six String Suite. Mr Keane kindly gave us a little background on the title, Frets, its varied meanings, including the description of the movement of water over and around obstacles, and how he endeavoured to recreate this using four and sometimes more time signatures simultaneously “crashing into each other, like the waters they represent”, producing an exciting virtuoso performance from the group, Completely Plucked.

The GGS Ensemble’s rendition of Ouagadougou by Luc Levesque was another unique standout. Indeed I had never heard guitars used in this way to reproduce percussion inspired by obscure African tribal music. This was then complimented by the wonderful musicianship of the Carmen Trio’s three varied pieces.

Variation, in fact, was the hallmark of the evening’s repertoire. The resulting performance ran the full gamut from very good through adventurous, thoughtful, wonderful, and delightful to the sheer power of the combined orchestra finale.

The concert, a genuine musical treat,  took place on Saturday 31st May at the St Anne’s Ryde Anglican Centre, 42 Church Street, Ryde, on the corner of Gowrie Street.

For more information about the Society, upcoming events and concerts, visit the Society’s official website:-www.classicalguitarssydney.org