Guest Review – Gohar Vardanyan

Review of Gohar Vardanyan, Marian Chapel, Saturday, February 2, 2013
By Roy E. Whitman

Evocative and passionate, Armenian-born classical guitarist, Gohar Vardanyan gave
a performance that was both colorful and colloquial and layered with complexity and
nuance. Her technique and finger-work were flawlessly clean as one would expect from
an experienced classical guitarist only in this instance it approached another realm of
perfection. Pieces ranging from Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Verano’ and ‘Primavera Portenas’
to ‘Andaluza’ by Sainz de la Maza to ‘Sevilla’ by Albeniz featured traditional Latin
American sounds of tango and flamenco.

During the ‘Fantasie Hongroise’ by Johann Mertz , Ms. Vardanyan stunned the Marian
Chapel audience with two dramatic glissandos and then ventured into a rapid fire of notes
punctuated by somber strumming of the chords. Her tremolos were breathtaking and
gorgeous during Barrios Mangore’s ‘Un Sueno en la Floresta.’ The ‘Suite in A minor’ by
Manuel Maria Ponce alternated between dramatic flourishes of precise notes and tender
moments of quiet contentment. A Sonata by Joaquin Turina and ‘Invocacion y Danza’
by Joaquin Rodrigo rounded out the memorable performance.

Wearing a glimmering black gown and shimmering ear-rings, the Juilliard-trained
guitarist looked as stunning as she sounded. The Italians say ‘bravo’ and the English
say ‘cheers’ while the French say ‘salut.’ But it was the universal language of music that
trumped all through the capable and carefully-crafted handiwork of Gohar Vardanyan.

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