Concert Review: David Leisner - Calgary Society of Classical Guitar

Saturday, April 27, 2013


April 20, 2013 - Mount Royal UniversityCalgary, AB

We attended the concert of classical guitarist David Leisner as a last minute thing to do on a Saturday night. And what an event to attend!

Amazingly, David treated and rehabilitated himself and others from a focal dystonia, which is normally devastating to the abilities of a musician, especially a guitarist or pianist. 

David lives up to the bill of some of the descriptions of his exceptional talent:

"DAVID LEISNER is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher."

“Among the finest guitarists of all time”, according to American Record Guide"
"Mr. Leisner has also become a highly respected composer noted for the emotional and dramatic power of his music. Fanfare magazine described it as “rich in invention and melody, emotionally direct, and beautiful”. Guitar Review wrote, “Not many composers manage to be equally satisfying to the hands, the ear and the mind as Leisner has.”
David plays a John Gilbert guitar and uses D'Addario Strings exclusively.

David Leisner Performs Bach 

The Playlist:

1. Lute Suite in a minor, BVW 997 - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) arr. D. Leisner
  • Preluse
  • Fugue
  • Sarabande (my wife's favourite)
  • Gigue
  • Double (my favourite in this suite)

2. Labyrinths (2007) - D. Leisner (b. 1953)
- Leisner described his inspiration as the quiet and stillness in nature, but the intricacies that you see the longer you observe this stillness.
- I could see this as a theme in a Quintin Tarantino movie.  
  • Shimmer
  • Shadow
  • Shiver
  • Shatter
  • Shelter
3. Felicidade - Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994) arr. Roland Dyens; ed. D. Leisner
- lively Spanish flamenco style

4. Nocturnal, op. 70 (1963) - Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
  • Musingly
  • Very agitated
  • Restless
  • UneasyMarch-like
  • Dreaming
  • Gently rocking
  • Passsacaglia
  • Slow and quiet (Theme)
5. Three Etudes (1928) - Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • No. 7 in E major
  • No. 8 in c# minor
  • No. 12 in a minor
Encore performance
6. Tarantella - Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856)
"He (Leisner) was also a pioneer in the rediscovery of Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856), whose music he recorded on The Viennese Guitar (Titanic) and edited for publication by theTheodore Presser Company, as well as Wenzeslaus Matiegka (1773-1830), whose music he recorded on an Azica CD to be released in the early fall of 2008."

*What a way to end of this night. A beautifully played, emotionally charged rendition of a lesser revered classical guitarist - JK Mertz. 

Brilliant performance!


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