Encore! Encore! An Hour of the World’s Most Beautiful Classical Guitar

When it comes to encores, most musi­cians like to slate in a guar­an­teed crowd­pleas­er to send the audi­ence out on a high. Con­ven­tion­al wis­dom holds that an encore should be short, and change the mood cre­at­ed by the piece pre­ced­ing it.

Clas­si­cal gui­tarist Ana Vidović takes a dif­fer­ent approach.

For the last few years, she has con­clud­ed most con­certs by tak­ing audi­ence sug­ges­tions for the piece that will take it on home, view­ing it as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to make an extra con­nec­tion with fans:

It’s like a gift to me, also… some­times I get ner­vous because I don’t know what they will ask me to play and I may not have prac­ticed that par­tic­u­lar piece, but you know, what­ev­er! I think it’s just more of a ges­ture of appre­ci­a­tion. Of course there’s a con­nec­tion through music, but obvi­ous­ly we don’t speak to each oth­er.

The live audi­ence for her March 2021 appear­ance at San Francisco’s St. Mark’s Luther­an Church, above, was unusu­al­ly small due to COVID-19 pro­to­cols — just a few staffers from the Omni Foun­da­tion for the Per­form­ing Arts, an orga­ni­za­tion that brings the world’s finest acoustic gui­tarists to the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area.

Their applause was enthu­si­as­tic, helped by St. Mark’s excel­lent acoustics, but it feels thin in con­trast to the wall of sound that would greet a musi­cian of Vidović’s cal­iber when she per­forms to a packed house.

Despite the extreme­ly inti­mate set­ting, after her final piece, Noc­turno by fel­low Croa­t­ian Slavko Fumic, Vidović observed her own tra­di­tion, open­ing the floor to requests with a bit of a gig­gle:

If you have any encores, please feel free to ask. No, seri­ous­ly, requests! Hope­ful­ly I prac­ticed it … Richard?

One of her lis­ten­ers prompt­ly sug­gests 19th-cen­tu­ry Span­ish com­pos­er Isaac Albéniz’s Asturias, orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten for piano and now con­sid­ered one of the most essen­tial works in the clas­si­cal gui­tar reper­toire.

Although she has been known to polite­ly decline if she’s feel­ing too rusty, on this occa­sion, Vidović oblig­ed, and beau­ti­ful­ly so.

The com­plete pro­gram, which includes her cus­tom­ary healthy dose of her child­hood favorite Bach, is below.

Flute Par­ti­ta in A minor, BWV 1013

by Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach

(Tran­scribed by Val­ter Despalj)

-Alle­mande (3:06)

-Cor­rente (8:40)

Vio­lin Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001

by Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach

(arr. by Manuel Bar­rue­co)

-Ada­gio (12:44)

-Fuga (16:38)

-Sicil­iana (21:19)

-Presto (24:25)

Un Dia de Noviem­bre (27:36)

by Leo Brouw­er

Gran Sonata Eroica, Op. 150 (32:17)

by Mau­ro Giu­liani

Sonata in E major, K. 380, L. 23 (41:39)

Sonata in D minor K.1, L. 366 (46:28)

by Domeni­co Scar­lat­ti

Noc­turno (48:55)

by Slavko Fumic

Encore -

Asturias (53:49)

by Isaac Alb­eniz

San Fran­cis­co has now resumed live con­certs (includ­ing Vidović’s sched­uled return to St. Mark’s in April 2022), but the pan­dem­ic led Omni to expand its mis­sion, with vir­tu­al con­certs by top gui­tarists in var­i­ous loca­tions around the world, includ­ing Xue­fei Yang play­ing in Beijing’s 15th-Cen­tu­ry Zhizhu Tem­pleMarko Topchii play­ing in Ukraine’s St. Andrew’s Cathe­dral, and David Rus­sell in the monastery of Celano­va, Spain. Watch a playlist of Omni On Loca­tion vir­tu­al events, includ­ing Q&As with per­form­ers here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Andrés Segovia, Father of Clas­si­cal Gui­tar, at the Alham­bra

Hear Musi­cians Play the Only Playable Stradi­var­ius Gui­tar in the World: The “Sabionari”

Watch Clas­si­cal Music Come to Life in Art­ful­ly Ani­mat­ed Scores: Stravin­sky, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart & More

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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Comments (3)
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  • Ayda Arel says:

    Thank you so much..
    by the way I love your site dear­ly, I do!

  • Lawrence Monteiro says:

    Great­ly appre­ci­ate your yeo­man ser­vice towards bring­ing us reg­u­lar­ly, the best in art, cul­ture, music and all that enrich­es our lives.
    Tru­ly arm­chair trav­el­ogue.
    A mil­lion thanks, deep­est grat­i­tude and God bless to each and every mem­ber of such a won­der­ful ded­i­cat­ed team.

  • Asta Becket says:

    Fan­tas­tic! Thank you for cov­er­ing this for­mi­da­ble Croa­t­ian vir­tu­oso. Ana’s pre­cise, refined tech­nique and the bril­liant sound she so mas­ter­ful­ly pro­duces deserved­ly place her among the gui­tar elite of today.

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