Renowned classical guitarist Peter Fletcher enchanted a dozen guests with his free performance at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Library on Sept. 29.
He played a program of 17 musical selections during the 1½-hour show, which was part of the “After Dark” series that brings performers to the library
Fletcher tours nationally, giving about 100 concerts a year, and thanked the audience for coming,
“I love performing at the Harker Heights library, it’s a wonderful spot,” he said.
Fletcher played a diverse program, including hymns, folk songs and traditional pieces.
The audience was hooked on his technique and gentle musicality. The program was divided into two parts, each about 45-minutes in length, and separated by a brief intermission.
One of the first pieces was the hymn, “Simple Gifts.”
He first tapped the top of the guitar then fingered the notes, going faster and faster until he slowed the tempo to strum chords ending the piece.
Harker Heights resident Barbara Malone-Verduin also fingered the chair’s armrest in which she sat, playing along all night. She recently bought a guitar and is learning how to play.
“Peter is so inspiring for a beginner like me,” Malone-Verduin said.
Attendees heard Fletcher play masterworks, such as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach and the popular “Cordoba” composed by Spanish musician Isaac Albéniz.
Other selections included Bach’s “Lute Suite No. 3” and the difficult “Five Bagatelles for Guitar” by William Walton, but due to the long program, he only played three pieces, plus Fletcher’s own transcriptions of music from the French composer Erik Satie.
Throughout the evening, Fletcher engaged with the audience explaining about the music and about the different guitars he used.
“I played a spruce guitar in the first half because it’s a brittle wood that brings out the tempo and clarity more,” he said.
For the music in part two, he chose a guitar made from cedar. “It’s a softer wood with more warmth and a sweeter tone,” he said.
All that warmth and sweetness, plus Fletcher’s great mastery, was heard during his spectacular encore of Carlo Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba or The Sheperd,” which received a standing ovation.
“The encore was the highlight of the show; it was excellent,” said Lila Rames, who attended with friend Madeleine Young.
“Peter puts on a beautiful show every time, and it’s a joy to hear this great artist,” Young said.