Robert Wetzel, a classical guitar player, has given several concerts, playing classical music by great composers. At one of his concerts, in Encinitas, California, he plays a classical composition by Isaac Albeniz (Robert Wetzel – Isaac Albeniz – Cordoba).
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The way Robert Wetzel plays is very concentrated and unique. The sounds that the guitar produces are very melodic and much representative of the classical style. In the beginning of the composition, the melody and rhythms are slow but at the same time are not repeated.
There is great variety in the melody, so the listener does not know what to expect. This is an important attribute of a good composition, as it is very exciting, though calm and surprising. Then, the rhythm speeds up but the sound is still very much flowing and melodic.
While playing, Robert Wetzel seemed to be more focused on his finger placement than feeling of the music and playing from his heart. It is understandable that there are some complex transitions but all his attention is towards the guitar, instead of the audience, heart and music.
Another performance of Robert Wetzel was at Performing Arts Theatre at Cuyamaca College, El Cajon, California (Robert Wetzel – Luis Milan – “Pavanas V & I”). This performance is much different from the above one. Here, he is very much connected with the music and guitar. He does not look at his fingers as much and the music flows, as if it is played without previous learning and need to remember.
His focus is directed at the melody and the sound; this can be seen from his movement in unison with the music and body language. It is extremely important that the artists does not remember the music by heart but adds his own variations that will create a different effect each time. His presentation very much engages the audience and it is evident that it is enchanted by the sound and melodic interchanges.
This is the type of music that does not need words or any specific expression or movement. It comes from the heart and fills the room with a very unique and peaceful atmosphere that does not bother or bore the listeners. The third performance is given at La Mesa, California, with Gaiana Mndoian, cellist and John Danke, pianist.
The play the music of Paganini and Massenet in two sets (Robert Wetzel – Rachmaninoff – 18th Variation on Paganini & Massenet). The mastery and sound of each artist and the music, once again prove to be universal in time and space. The unison of instruments is so perfect that it is almost impossible to determine what sound is produced by which instrument. Here, Robert Wetzel is in a state that separates him from the physical world and puts him in a place where sound waves and melody transcend all that is.
Even though the performers do not show extreme emotions or much movement, it is obvious that they are fully engulfed in the composition and the emotions that it arises. The sounds produced are calming but they do not put the audience to sleep, as they make the listeners think of higher things, much different from everyday world and the routines. Music that manifests itself in artists like these is meant to separate from problems and worries, taking a person to a place of peace and happiness.
Robert Wetzel – Isaac Albeniz – Cordoba. YouTube. 20 Oct 2008. Web.
Robert Wetzel – Luis Milan – “Pavanas V & I”. YouTube. 5 Nov 2010. Web.
Robert Wetzel – Rachmaninoff – 18th Variation on Paganini & Massenet. YouTube. 19 May 2002. Web.