From A Midnight Dance To Granada
Published: 12 September, 2022

Sunday 9th October, 7pm
The Old Church
Stoke Newington Church St,
London N16 0JR

I am giving a recital called….

From A Midnight Dance To Granada

“A wide-ranging programme reflecting diverse cultures including the French Court of Louis XIV and Romantic Spain, with music by George Harrison, Tárrega, Albeniz, Martin, Coeck, and by Carlos himself.”

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Full programme below.

The Old Church, Stoke Newington, has one of the finest acoustics to hear classical guitar. It is just ideal! I am really looking forward to the recital.

The Alhambra Palace in Granada

I start the programme with music by Robert de Visee, who was a guitarist, composer, and viol player at the Court of Louis XIV. Four dance movements make up this elegant and expressive suite, typical of the French style which inspired the music that follows by Swiss composer Frank Martin. His neo-Baroque Quatre Pièces Brèves composed in the 1930s also have strong traces of atonality and faint echoes of Stravinsky! To bring us straight to the warmth of the Spanish Romantic Isaac Albeniz, I play his Serenata Granada with its hypnotically repeated notes complementing a beautiful nostalgic tune. This was composed for the piano, but I hope you agree it sounds pretty good on the guitar.

Photo: Armand Coeck, composer of Midnight Dance

The next group of pieces by Belgian composer Armand Coeck were all composed in quick succession around and during the Covid lockdown. Armand composes in a unique style of his own, mixing modes and chords, reflecting a deep spirituality and mysticism. His music deserves to be better known.

My own two pieces in the second part were composed as musical portraits of friends, trying to bring out interesting aspects of their characters through the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. I hope you like the pieces.

Francisco Tárrega is in some ways the guitar’s answer to the piano’s Isaac Albeniz. His Capricho Arabe, rather like Albeniz’s Granada, is an evocation of Spain’s romanticised Arabic past, which fired the composer’s imagination.

Photo: George Harrison

When I arranged the music by George Harrison I tried to imagine how the music could work without a vocal line, purely as an instrumental solo. I have developed various musical themes from the original and spun them out in the middle, before at the end returning to the song – all with a Spanish touch of rasgueados which I think is very appropriate given the title Here Comes The Sun! This leads me to the real thing : Trad from Andalucia – 2 Spanish songs from the deep south to end the concert.

I hope this encourages you to come along. Thank you for reading this far,

The Programme in full:

Robert de Visée (1650-1725)
Suite in G major:

Frank Martin (1890-1974)
Quatre pièces brèves (1933):
Prèlude – Air – Plainte – Comme Une Gigue

Isaac Albeniz (1850-1909)
Serenata – Granada*

Armand Coeck b.1941)
La Caravana (2020)
Midnight Dance (2019)


Carlos Bonell b.1949
At The Edge Of the Horizon (2022)
– first performance
Variations (2022)

Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909)
Capricho Arabe

George Harrison (1943-2001)
Here Comes The Sun*

Trad from Andalucia*
Morillas de Jaen
Cuatro Muleros

* arranged by Carlos Bonell

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