Mozart on Plucked Strings
By DeShaun Snead

There is something to be said for music that allows the listener to travel to an earlier time. Tuesday night at Fairchild Chapel provided the crowd in attendance just an opportunity, as Professor of Guitar Stephen Aron opened the Conservatory’s Guitar Repertoire Series with a stirring classical performance.
Aron has been on the faculty at Oberlin since 1991 and has also taught students at Akron University. For the recital he sat on Fairchild’s stage with a golden colored guitar and released angelic music into the chapel’s hollow walls.
The chapel’s stone arches and stain glass windows added to the antique air of the classical pieces Aron selected.
Aron began the concert with Fernando Sor’s Variation on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 9. This Mozart piece played on guitar proved dynamic—the music was replete with plenty of trills and expressive arpeggios.
This piece might have reminded one of Raphael’s paintings of angelic cherubs deep in thought, or the quaintness described in one of the Bronte sisters’ Romantic novels.

Next on the program was Mauro Guilani’s “La Rossiniane, Op. 121.” Aron had a beautiful tone and a seasoned sound. His phrasing was masterful and reflected many years of practice. The Adagio section of this piece was a great addition to the overall 19th-century character of the work.
Johann Kaspar Mertz’s “Elegy” proceeded. Aron played the minor tune with lamenting dynamics at a deliberate pace. This piece was a contrast to the light and airy ones that came before it, and showed Aron’s mature technique, which while slow wasn’t easy because of the intricate phrasing and dynamics.

Aron finished the program with “Fete Villageoise, Op. 20” and “Reverie-Nocturn, Op. 19” by Guilio Regondi. These pieces evoked a variety of feelings. Listeners were compelled to gaze at the panels with gold colored saints in submission and forget daily worries.
Aron played the guitar with such serenity and focus that he made it look like anyone could pick up a guitar and play these Romantic-era pieces with no problem.
Overall the music was smooth, light and never overwhelming. As they listened, the attentive and appreciative audience sometimes closed their eyes in thought.

October 4
October 11

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