Guitar recital provides variety of pieces


A night of hits and misses filled guitar virtuoso and NIU faculty member Fareed Haque’s two-hour guitar recital Wednesday.

Some segments really rocked and had audience members’ heads bobbing along. Other segments were dull and seemed to drag on. But throughout the night, Haque seemed to be enjoying himself and the music.

The first piece played by Haque was Leo Brouwer’s “El Decameron Negro.” All three movements of this piece were romantic ballads and had a touch of classic blues. Each theme in the movements was played with interesting paces and dynamics. This first piece was a decent way to start off the night, it dragged on in some parts but was generally enjoyable.

The most exciting piece of the night was a set of jazz improvisations on a new type of guitar. Haque explained how the guitar, developed by Moog Paul Vo, was able to sustain notes longer and better than ever, an exciting prospect for any music lover.

At first, Haque seemed to have difficulties controlling the notes, but shortly after beginning, he was able to silence the unwanted notes and performed some interesting jazz-blues segments. Haque seemed to be struggling at times for a good improvisation to the theme, however, other sections of this piece were dead-on and had the audience toe-tapping. This allowed the animated Haque, and the audience, to explore unfamiliar realms with the new guitar.

After a short intermission, Haque came out with longtime friend and classical guitarist Paul Moeller. The two played three very long triple movement pieces, all of which had interesting moments from time to time but nothing overly or constantly exciting.

Perhaps the most interesting piece, originally composed by Guido Santorsola, “Sonata for Two Guitars,” was fascinating to end the night with. Haque mentioned before playing that this song was challenging, but a fun piece to play for the pair of classical guitarists.

In the end, the two-hour guitar recital was longer than necessary. Some of the selections had brief and interesting aspects, but they were jammed between longer dull segments. The improvisation on some of the pieces was a stretch, but some of it was phenomenal.