Master guitarist Anton Baranov made an appearance at Stetson Chapel on Thursday, October 30. As a winner of more than fifteen international guitar competitions, Anton Baranov has been described by composer and guitarist Roland Dyens as “a real musician, one of those rare guitarists who are able to have their attendees almost forget the instrument they play, managing to have them focus on the expressivity of the music and only this.”
Baranov began each piece by gazing to the left of the stage in intense concentration. He turned to his guitar and played the works of Legnani and Smirnov, Santorsola and de la Masa, del Puerto and Tarrega, and Miguel Llobet with incredible precision and accuracy. His level of mastery over each song was evident in the speed of his fingers and his articulation of sound. His creative interpretation of each work was undeniable in his daring instrumental technique.
The fourth piece Baranov played, entitled Platero I Yo by E. Sains de la Masa, was composed of four movements, each with an entirely different character and tone. This music expresses “the simple joys of Spanish life” according to Baranov. Overall, the piece was a juxtaposition of lighter, quicker melodies with heavier, slower ones. Baranov’s delicate fingerpicking and heavy strumming created an interesting contrast between intensity and volume. His slapping of the guitar further emphasized his departure from the standard classical sound.
Shelby Golden K’18 described the atmosphere of the performance as “a mix between laid-back and intense. There were parts of the concert that were faster paced and parts that were slower paced.”
According to Daniel Michelin K’18: “Anton’s style was very professional but it was also very unique. His use of slapping the guitar and his use of frequent tempo changes was something I don’t usually see in guitar players.”
At the end of the performance, the entire audience gave Baranov a standing ovation. Their applause continued for nearly a minute, and Baranov returned for an encore. The audience recognized that they were in the presence of a technically gifted musician.
“I walked away feeling good and wanting to listen to some more classical guitar,” said Michelin. “The last piece he played was excellent, and I wanted to listen to it again before I forgot the name of it.”