Guitarist brings romantic concert to Carson crowd

By JOHN CUTLER / For the Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010

For classical guitarist Petar Jankovic, Saturday night’s concert at the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theatre was another chance to innovate and teach.

The young Jankovic, a medalist from several world competitions, demonstrated his embrace of Spanish and Latin-American guitar literature before 240 patrons.

Changing the order of the “Cinq Preludes” of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Jankovic chose to lead off with the first, then played the final four in reverse order.

With extreme accuracy behind his excellent technique, Jankovic showed why he did this. Those familiar with this work came to realize the progression was smooth and in some ways more logical than Villa-Lobos’ sequence.

The Federico Moreno-Torrobba “Sonatina in A major” was done beautifully. Its lovely, Romantic  Andante movement was followed with rapid fingering and fast fretwork on the concluding Allegro.

Jankovic called the “Asturias” of Isaac Albeniz a “war horse” because of its concert popularity among guitarists. But CD enthusiasts would need to go a long way to find a version so well played as Jankovic’s.

Innovation continued after intermission as Jankovic took two movements from the “Suite del Recuredo” of Jose Luis Merlin and inserted Dr. Jorge Cardoso’s “Milonga” between them. The result was a pleasing flow with excellent empathy.

Roland Dyens seemed to write some discord into his “Libra Sonatine”  opening movement, but the house certainly was glued to the ensuing Largo, which Jankovic beautifully pulled through his guitar like taffy.

Three tangos of Astor Piazzolla were last on the bill. The third was a complex work that dealt with the death of an angel, at once sad, then furiously fast a few measures hence.

The crowd gave Jankovic heavy applause on the concert’s conclusion, and the guitarist offered Dyens’ “Tango en Skye” as an encore.

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