Grossmont audience enjoys subtle Odeum program

Russell Lindquist

Robert Wetzel, left, and Fred Benedetti perform on campus (Photo: Russell Lindquist)

 

Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Despite two significant technical-difficulties, the Odeum Guitar Duo delighted its audience with 21 guitar compositions, including two encores, Sunday Sept. 17, in The Room 220 performance space of the Music Department.

The compositions covered a spectrum which ranged from solemn to playful. Throughout the night, the duo and its audience were visibly in synch. When the theme was solemn, the players and viewers were pensive; whereas, during more lighthearted parts, the players grinned broadly while the elated crowd actually laughed at several points. 

There were five composers represented: Frederic Hand, Leo Brouwer, Enrique Granados,  Gabriel Faure and Maurice Ravel.   Granados’ Allegro Humoristico was one of the crowd pleasers.

Benedetti explained the significance and history of several of the compositions  to rapt listeners who noticeably appreciated both Benedetti’s knowledge, as well as the warmth and excitement with which he spoke. 

Now to the technical-difficulties:  when I arrived to see Odeum’s performance, Benedetti was in haste: it was 15 minutes until showtime, and he had misplaced his keys to the music office which held the programs for the performance!   

I called maintenance, then Benedetti and I agreed that I would wait to be let in to the office to get the programs, while he would get back to setting up for his show.  Promptly, a friendly grounds-person arrived, let me into the music office, and went on about his evening. 

After getting the programs, Benedetti and Wetzel were set to go.  This was great timing, considering there were only five minutes left until the audience would be entering. 

Right before the doors opened, Odeum notice another setback:  the air-conditioning unit – directly above the stage –was entirely too loud. Odeum simply amplified (a bit) to overcome this setback, and even explained the need for the amplification, during the show, which lent an interesting freshness. 

The show must go on… and it certainly did. 

A week after the performance, Benedetti disclosed to me that he was surprised and delighted at how the audience received the  music,explaining that, prior to the recital, he and Wetzel had doubts about whether an entire program of musical subtlety would hold the attention of a modern-day audience composed of many who no doubt experience, in their daily life, much unsubtlety. 

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Lindquist is a student in Media Comm 132.