Video Pick of the Week: Pauline Gauthey Plays a Mysterious Piece by Lilith Guégamian

Although Pauline Gauthey fell short of her dream of winning the 2018 GFA competition in Kentucky, I was very impressed by her semi-final performance there, which included two challenging late-20th century works, Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Variations Through the Centuries and Takemitsu’s Equinox. But the French guitarist fared better in two autumn competitions in Spain, sharing the second prize at the XXVth International Guitar Competition Andrés Segovia in Linares, and taking third place at the 9th Concurso Internacional de Guitarra de Sevilla. Toutes nos félicitations, Pauline!


In this Galerie des Luthiers video from 2017, Gauthey plays a wonderful piece that was new to me: La ronde des sorcières, et la naissance des déesses (“witches ’round the birth of goddesses”) by Armenian-French guitarist and composer Lilith Guégamian (who recorded her own version of the piece on her 2007 album, Eclairee par une luciole). The moody piece starts slowly, but then picks up tempo and proceeds through some exciting, obviously Armenian-influenced passages, before calming again and drifting into a short, wordless vocalization near the end. She plays a 1967 Félix Manzanero guitar. —Blair Jackson