Concerto pour guitare et orchestre & Un ange parmi les soupirs
Composer: Arnaud Fillion
Soloist: Johan Smith, Alain Arias
Orchestra: Budapest Symphony Orchestra
Thanks to composer Arnaud Fillion for sending me a link to his beautiful concerto for guitar performed by Johan Smith and the Budapest orchestra, including the concerto performance with Gergely Vajda (conductor) and Johan Smith (guitar), and for Un ange parmi les soupirs László Kovács (conductor) and Alain Arias (violin). Concerto pour guitare et orchestre is beautiful contribution to the classical guitar concerto repertoire. Some great moments throughout with alluring orchestration and momentum through the movements. Johan Smith (Switzerland) was the 2019 GFA winner and gives a fantastic performance filled with some beautiful phrasing and a spirited and virtuosic final movement.
The guitar being one of the most popular music instrument in the world, there are relatively still very few concerti written for it. This paradox can be explained by two main reasons: the limited sound power of the instrument which must always be taken into account during the orchestration. Also, because of its very particular tuning, it is almost impossible for a composer non-guitarist himself to write for it in an always achievable way. Yet the guitar offers nuances of timbres to express the most varied emotions. The frame of this concerto for guitar and orchestra was sketched during a stay in Southeast Asia of the composer, then orchestrated on his return to France in 201 6. In a very personal aesthetic, incorporating elements from diverse genres (classical , contemporary, world & film music …), each movement has been elaborated as a small journey in itself, inviting the listener to escape with an overflowing inspiration accessible to everyone.
The first movement “Espiègle” takes us to a fiery 7 beats dance, rising out from of an undefined foggy sound work. Once discovered, the orchestra and the guitar are conversing, teasing each other and “playing” in the proper sense of the term, around an unbreakable rhythmic base evoking the pulsation of certain traditional Balkan music.
In the second movement “Air”, one could easily interpret this air as an element, alternating from tenderness to austerity and evolving in an unpredictable run. The melody of the initial adagio flies away, converting itself from a caress to a joyous whirlwind and finally turning to a breath. This air is shaping on its way and bringing into his game leaves and other objects from its imaginary world.
The final movement “Hypnotika” develops a gradually drifting atmosphere, leading to a trance withbewitching rhythm and patterns. The strength of the orchestra is combined with the eloquence of a guitar part which is crossing and linking boundaries between classical and various world music.
Composed in 2011 , “Un ange parmi les soupirs” is the first orchestral piece by Arnaud Fillion, built in an aesthetic midway between the concerto and the symphonic poem. The chant of the solo violin is wandering in an imaginary universe whose colors are emerging and metamorphosing over time. The melodic personality of the violin and the mysterious temper of the orchestra are impacting each other in the meanders of this journey, until finding an ultimate harmony.