Music Reviews : Guitarist Scott Tennant in Recital at USC

With skill and an unusual sweet-tooth for flashy, ebullient music, guitarist Scott Tennant presented an impressive, sometimes dazzling recital Saturday evening at Hancock Auditorium, USC. His virtuosic playing includes an exceptional right-hand agility and a remarkable fluidity in difficult passages.

Although he generally kept his penchant for showiness under control, this temptation often ran slightly unbounded, showing up considerably but not distastefully in works like Giuliani's "Grand Overture." Similarly, Tennant treated the accessible, sugary consonances in four pieces by John Dowland with an overflowing amount of sentimentality.

Two purely tonal contemporary works followed the same path: Carlo Domeniconi's Oriental-sounding "Variations on a Turkish Theme" hauntingly sang and twanged, while Andrew York's New Age folk study "Emergence" resonated pleasantly though it is more a sketch than a complete composition.

Fleshing out the program were more routine but convincing performances of four Etudes by Villa-Lobos, Rodrigo's "Sonata Giocosa" and a transcription of Bach's Suite in E for solo violin.

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