By Karin Patiño
On Thursday, Sept. 21, CSU Bakersfield welcomed classical guitarists Johannes Möller and Laura Fraticelli for the 8th Annual Guitar Arts Series concert.
The Guitar Arts Series is an annual event at CSUB that was started in 2010 by Professor Jim Scully.
The annual concert was originally started as a way for local classical guitarists to be exposed to and inspired by the world class talented guitarists that come through.
The music building’s choral room was a full house as all 90 seats were filled for the night. The crowd eagerly waited for Möller and Fraticelli to take the stage. Well, more like front and center, because the choral room doesn’t have a stage.
The light murmur of the audience dropped to a pin-drop quietness as Möller and Fraticelli began tuning their guitars.
This was Moller’s second time playing at CSUB. The first time was in 2012 as part of his Guitar Foundation of America Winner’s Tour.
Fraticelli and Möller are not your typical guitar duo. They are also husband and wife.
“It is so nice to be back here—and this time with my better half,” said Möller to the audience. Cue a collective “aw” from the audience as a reaction to the tidbit of information.
The concert overall was a beautiful display of talent. The duo exemplified skill and precision as they whisked through the notes with ease and clarity.
Möller and Fraticelli started the evening with a romantic song from the Hungarian composer Johann Kaspar Mertz. The crowd was in awe as the two guitarists strummed their guitars in harmony with one another. I, for one, was blown away. I will admit, I’m not familiar with the world of classical guitar music, but right off the bat I was incredibly impressed by the first song. This Mertz fella really knows how to compose some tunes to make someone swoon.
And undoubtedly, it definitely helped that the piece was performed by two such talented musicians.
After the sweet serenading song to make the audience’s hearts all mushy with feelings (because that’s just the power of music) the duo upped the tempo with a traditional tango. The pair performed three tangos in total, all written by composers from Fraticelli’s homeland of Argentina.
“Guitar is a good representation of music around the world,” said Möller who is originally from Sweden.
A good representation indeed. After the tangos, the due rounded off the night be performing pieces from India, China, and even some original works they created themselves. After their exit, Möller and Fraticelli reentered for an encore which the crowd warmly welcomed.
“It’s been a great pleasure playing for you tonight,” said Möller.