When the Gold Coast Chamber Players’ chief-of-everything, Pamela Freund-Striplen put together a program called Spanish Strings, she didn’t leave out the guitar. And she put together a roster of excellent players drawn, as usual, from top local ensembles – Robin Sharp (concertmaster, S.F Chamber Orchestra), Julie Kim (S.F. Opera and Ballet Orchestras), Robert Howard (S.F. Chamber Orchestra), guitarist Yuri Liberzon, and pianist Julie Nishimura.
The music on their Old First Concerts program is drawn from the wealth of great Spanish composers: Liberzon plays Isaac Albeniz’s Asturias (Leyenda), and Pablo de Sarasate’s Malaguena/ Zapateado are favorites. But there are also less familiar, audience pleasing chamber works from the likes of Enrique Granados, Joaquin Turina, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco on the bill. As an introduction to the riches of the Spanish classical tradition, you could not do any better than this concert. I wish there were more like it.