Jorge Caballero

I went to see a concert last night. It was the Miró Quartet, and classical guitarist Jorge Caballero. The Miró Quartet is amazing. They’re a world class string quartet, they’ve played everywhere, and won lots of awards. They played some beautiful music last night. I’m not here to talk about them.

Jorge Caballero writes his own rules for what’s possible on the classical guitar. Most people will call you crazy if you try to take a virtuoso piano piece and transcribe it for solo guitar. Kazuhito Yamashita did it. He was insane, it was crazy good. That was some 30 years ago. Since then, only Jorge Caballero has been able to play it, of all of the professional guitarists that I know of. I heard him play this last year, when he was here in Austin. Here’s a recording. I’ll let it speak for itself. Pictures at an Exhibition.

This year, in addition to playing some really fun pieces with the quartet, he pulled out pulled out Bach’s Partita, BWV 1013. He played it like I’ve never heard Bach before. For me, Bach always has this sense of momentum and, well, I don’t know. It’s like a train. Always moving forward, continuously, and unstoppably. Well, when Jorge moved into the Corrente movement of the piece, it was like a bullet train. Moving along at incredible speeds, amazingly smoothly, and he seemed to not even be working very hard. It was the most relaxed and easy speed I’ve ever heard, and it still had all of the elements of what makes Bach so beautiful, with every voice and note handled with care.

Here’s another Bach, the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. This man has inspired me greatly, and the concert was well worth it. It was put on by the Austin Classical Guitar Society. If you’re in Austin, you really should go check out their events. The next one is Grisha Goryachev. I’ll talk about him when it’s time for his concert, but for now just say that he’s a flamenco guitarist who makes other flamenco guitarists look boring.

I’m inspired, time to go learn some Bach. (I try to play classical guitar. I’m not terribly good, but I enjoy it.)

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