Let me tell you folks, Bradley Kunda is a serious talent and it is definitely easy to see – and hear – why his playing has won him the accolades it has. I always love it when a performer communicates (as in talks) to the audience and provides a bit of the history and background behind a work.
I don’t know about you, but it really helps a piece come to life for me. Bradley not only did this on Saturday night, but weaved his whole programme together with a central theme of “inspiration”. Each of the works played was inspired by something in particular – artwork, other music, portraiture, art depicting nature, people and places.
We were treated to a well thought out and informative programme in Richmond, Melbourne this weekend.
The programme kicked off with Villa-Lobos’ Five Preludes, preceded by an enlightening introduction on the meaning or rather inspiration for each of the preludes. He then took us on a journey through Sonata for Solo Guitar by Ourkouzounov. I was previously unaware of this work, but it is now firmly etched into my brain though Bradley’s command of the challenging Eastern European time signatures, crazy finger gymnastics and some awesome golpe technique. Bradley is recording this one next week and will only be the second time this work has been recorded. So watch out for his new solo album, folks, when it hits the shops (keep an eye on his website at www.bradleykunda.com).
Bradley also presented In The Woods by Takemitsu – which I really enjoyed, which I have to say I don’t normally do with Takemitsu. This again was probably aided by the narrative at the start of the piece – a delightful Variations on a Theme of Scriabin by Tansman and three selections from Los Caprichos de Goya by Castelnuovo-Tedesco.All were delivered with poise and panache.Bradley has a real ease of style and a comfortable stage presence that belies his relatively tender years.
Bradley Kunda is a gem and real rising star of a talent in the Australian classical guitar scene. And talking with him he’s a thoroughly nice bloke too!
If he’s playing in your neck of the woods, I urge you to check him out.