Monday, 28 November 2011

A HUGgin experience

We have enjoyed an exceptionally mild autumn, although recently it has no longer felt a luxury. There’s no sign of snow yet so the days are depressingly grey and dark except for an occasional hour or two of sun once or twice weekly if we are lucky. This is an unfriendly time for anyone and even more so for someone trying to carry out some changes in his/her life. Therefore a little bit of indulging is most appropriate to boost your spirits in the darkest season of the year.

Last Saturday, I went with my husband to a most ear-hugging concert at the HUG (Helsinki Universal Guitar) Festival. They have such a welcoming logo that seeing it alone will make you want to book tickets. We love ‘la guitarra española’ but had heard hardly any classical guitar live earlier. And what a feast it was!

The concert started with performances by the Artistic Director of the festival, the excellent Finnish (flamenco) guitarist and composer Raúl Mannola. In addition, it offered breath-taking shows by Antonio Rey, the Spanish flamenco guitar virtuoso and composer who has in recent years won all the guitar competitions he has participated in, and the legendary American guitarist and composer Ralph Towner whose caress of the strings is as stunning as ever at his seventies. 
The ease with which these masters handle their instrument is phenomenal and the music they produce is pure magic. We were served some serious HUGging!

Ralph Towner playing his own tune Jamaica Stopover.

Thanks to modern technology you can relive feelings from an uplifting concert at home even if most of the CDs were sold out by the time you were at the counter. Looking forward to a new live ‘guitarrista’ experience on our next trip to Spain.

Teresa Maria

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