Evgeny Romantsov was very pleased. 'I am happy that so many have come. It is a good sign that this instrument is still very popular indeed' says the 25 year old concert guitarrist from St. Petersburg, indicating the increasingly difficult situation for the guitar which, considering its soft, tender, quiet tones and the small resonance, exists only in a niche. It does not reach the tonal intensity of the piano or the violin. It is in exactly these attributes however, that the tender-faced, young man with the gold-rim glasses and the white bow-tie sees its strengths. Other than the piano, where a mechanism seperates the artist from the music, the guitar is played directly with both hands. This gives its playing a certain intimate and immediate dimension. '... as a listener you have the feeling that the artist is playing solely for himself and not for the audience'.
Romantsov began to play the guitar at the young age of six. Later he then studied the instrument at the culture academy in St. Petersberg and at the university of music and theatre in Leipzig. He now lives in Munich and acts, next to his solo-perfomances, as a lecturer at the universities in Munich and Oberschleißheim. He counts all the pieces from different styles and eras to his repertoire, which he impressively displayed together with an individual touch at the concert.
Romantsov begins his adaptation of a baroque violin-piece with a slow H-Minor Melody 'Sarabande' (Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita una) which soon advances to become a quick, lofty and merry run. He manages to give the mathematically written piece an emotional feeling.
He begins his presentation of the classic era with one of the famous 'Folies' of Fernando Sor. Quick bass-sucessions and brisk chord-changes along the finger-board enable Romanstov’s sucessful and lively interpretation of the classic spanish dance.
He interprets the more modern compositions of latin-american guitarrists with no less emotion, putting all the sad world-weariness into the plucked 'Argentinian Melody' to then contrastingly present the joyful 'Milonga' – a tango by Cardoso.
Most of all however, it is the russian romanticist Michail Wyssotzki for whom Romanstov has fallen for. Although Wyssotzki's pieces are no longer widely played he sees him as being 'more romantic than other artists of his time' Dark bass-sucessions combine with wistful high pitched notes – the audience listen devotionally to the woeful loneliness – a loneliness which can only be adequately conveyed by a concert-guitar.
Special Thanks to Daniel Williamson for his Translation