A totally magical experience playing a selection of flamenco guitar solos and Spanish classical pieces for very appreciative hosts and guests at the special birthday party for the Spanish hostess.
Both the hostess and the host frequently listen to, know about and love Spanish guitar playing. Knowing this confirmed to me that I would be free to offer my entire repertoire with all the flamenco moods.
They had set up a magical shaded area for me under a tree in their delightful garden; they had taken the trouble to organise an electric extension lead for my amplifier, a small table with table light and plenty of refreshments.
They had also set up rows of chairs and organised the timings so that people could come and sit down to hear my recital after they had eaten.
When people go to this kind of effort you know that they really do want to have you there playing Spanish guitar.
So, I felt great and played many pieces including several that I normally only perform to audiences with flamenco experience. These pieces might be for example Tientos, Granaina, Tarantas, Soleares.
This is because in a way flamenco can sound kind of abstract without a clear and obvious theme going through the piece. This was of course intentional in the origin of flamenco; not so much a music, rather flamenco came about and especially in the singing to be an immediate expression of profound and often tragic emotions.
As the art form developed not all of the pieces were sorrowful but the powerful passion and emotion still remains.
In a way those emotions are also present in Spanish classical pieces and it is possible that the Spanish composers were influenced by flamenco which surely would have been very present in Spanish culture.
All of these thoughts were in my mind as I played because I was in an environment which was conducive to concert standard playing.
I am not sure if all of the guests would have had the same extent of knowledge about Spanish music but it was very clear that they did indeed understand and feel the emotions in the music and I was grateful to them for their applause.
I will remember this one as very special.