Video Pick of the Week: Francisco Correa and Orchestra Perform Stephen Goss’ Wonderful 2012 ‘Guitar Concerto’

Here’s a great piece to conclude this year of CG Video Picks: The excellent Colombian guitarist Francisco Correa, joined by the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia under the direction of Henrik Schaefer, performs the Latin American premiere of Stephen Goss‘ wonderful 2012 Guitar Concerto at the Teatro Colón Bogotá in November 2019. After guitar studies in his native Colombia, Barcelona, and Paris, Correa completed his masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music in 2015.

I asked Steve Goss to tell us a bit about the work:

“It was commissioned by Graham Roberts, who gave the premiere with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2012. John Williams was in the audience and immediately decided to learn, tour, and record the concerto. In Soundboard magazine, John said: ‘I was really knocked out by Steve’s Guitar Concerto. I love the music. It is wonderfully orchestrated, wonderfully integrated with the guitar; a whole lot of things that I think are quite original. I don’t know of any guitar concerto which is as consistently successful on all fronts.’ John performed the concerto in his farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 2014, and his recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Paul Daniel, can be found on all major platforms.

“I attended Francisco’s performance in Bogota and worked with the orchestra on the piece. In 2020, the concerto was chosen as one of the set works for the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

“My Guitar Concerto is cast in the traditional three movements, but I wanted to keep them stylistically and geographically self-contained. So, the first [‘Bold and Bright’] alludes to the urban music of North America and the harmonic vocabulary of modern jazz. The finale [‘Allegro Molto’] draws on Latin American influences, while the concerto’s heart is an elegiac slow movement [‘Adagio Sostenuto—Homage to Elgar’] in tinged with English nostalgia.'”

This is one of my favorite 21st century guitar concertos. See if you agree! —Blair Jackson