Raphaella SMITS

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A.Segovia Andrés Segovia Monument

Iglesia Santa Maria Iglesia Santa Maria

Fuente Constitution "Constitucíon" fountain

November 7-9, 2007

The 16th Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Ciudad de Linares "ANDRÉS SEGOVIA" was organized from November 5 through 18, 2007.

Besides its 14 concerts, this festival included a guitar course from November 6 through 11, and a competition on November 17 and 18.

Raphaella Smits gave a recital on November 7 at 8 p.m. on the premises of the Fundación Andrés Segovia, and she gave master classes on November 8 and 9 at the Conservatorio de Música of Linares.

Reviewer Juan Parrilla wrote the following about Raphaella's concert:

"Raphaella Smits.
This Belgian guitarist is one of the best that has passed by our "Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra" in the last years. Her performance was brilliant, with a concert structured in two clearly different parts, on the Wednesday afternoon 7th of November in the "Fundacion Andres Segovia" with a full house.
In the first part of the concert -based on a pure Romantic program and performed in a romantic guitar- Smits delighted us in the first place with Napoleon Coste (Balada Op.20), to continue with Rosiniana 1 Op.119 by Mauro Giuliani. In third place we could listen to an extremely beautiful Lieder by Franz Schubert -arranged by JK Mertz- and she ended this first set with a Gran Serenata (Harmonie du soir) -also an original transcription by Mertz- with a Romanticism capable of breaking your soul.
She presented a great elegant style and perfect sound; blending, phrasing, harmonizing, and therefore making music in its most pure state. She got from the very first piece the understanding and sharing of the audience, who was extremely thankful for such a devoted performance.
A truthfully majestic first part opened the door to the second set with one single baroque piece -the Partita Secunda a violino solo senza basso by Bach- with a fully appealing transcription for guitar made by the performer herself. With an exquisite taste, performing baroque in a way that not many players are able to do, she showed us the capability to reach the most pure romanticism inside this musical style; a style always complex to perform. Therefore Smits got with the Sarabanda, Giga and Chacona to leave us all moved. The almost 40 minutes length of the Partita passed like seconds because Smits created such an atmosphere in the room that left the whole audience in heaven.
The public stood up in ovation with repeated bravos forcing the Belgian performer to play an encore, which happened to be Alfonsina y el Mar, and which was heartbreaking for us all.
This extremely brilliant performance on the Wednesday afternoon puts an end to the "Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra de Linares" on a very high level. Congratulations to this performer, to whom we wish the very best in her professional career, at the same time that we ask her to return to this city."

(translation by Teresa Garcia Herranz)

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