Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 9 August 2018
Typical of the Adelaide Guitar Festival, Beijing Guitar Duo and Marko Topchii is a cultural and musically diverse performance, bringing together an assortment of world-class songs from various countries, cultures and composers.
Opening the show is award-winning (including the 2016 Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition) Ukrainian guitarist, Marko Topchii. In 2015 Topchii won the International Gredos San Diego Classical Guitar Competition and the following year saw him take the top prize at the International Guitar Competition Maurizio Biasini at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Since then, he has continued to wow audiences world-wide and has drummed up over 50 awards from international guitar competitions in various countries.
Watching Topchii perform is a one-of-a-kind musical experience as he vividly expresses the emotions of the music through not only his fingers, but also his body movements and facial expressions. While gently strumming the chords, Topchii’s expression is relaxed while his eyes remain closed, but, as the tone changes, Topchii himself actively perks up, giving a lively emotional performance alongside his highly-awarded guitar-playing skills. He is enchanting, holding the audience in a mesmerized lull as he performs a variety of guitar pieces, from vivacious Spanish melodies to more sombre, Eastern-European toned piece.
The Beijing Guitar Duo are made up of Meng Su and Yamen Wang, two classical guitarists and chamber musicians whose ensemble performances and world-renowned talents are paired with a distinct elegance. Similar to Topchii, they expose the audience to music of the world including French tunes that inspire visions of a walk along the Seine in Paris on a starry night, and a piece specially created for the duo by Tan Dun, Chinese composer of the score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Though, both Su and Wang have a contrasting performance style to that of the emotive Topchii. They’re body language reflects a polished performance style with less body movement and blank facial expressions, creating a much sharper focus on their ensemble performance. The audience’s eyes are drawn to the quick movements of the musician’s fingers up and down the guitar strings while their various cultural melodies fill the audience’s ears.
Witnessing the Beijing Guitar Duo and Mark Topchii provides a musical trip around the world that will capture your heart and expose you to the diversities of guitar-based music.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
One night only – season ended