Mushabac and Vieaux Play VL in Cleveland

02/06/2009 - 20:00
USA: Shaker Heights OH

Cellist Mushabac and guitarist Vieaux team up in concert
by Donald Rosenberg / Plain Dealer Reporter
Wednesday February 04, 2009, 12:40 PM
The Plain Dealer

Baldwin-Wallace College faculty cellist Regina Mushabac plays a recital Friday at B-W with guitarist Jason Vieaux.

Regina Mushabac and Jason Vieaux
What: The cellist and the classical guitarist give a recital of works by Villa-Lobos, Zenamon, Bach, Jobim and Gnattali.
When: 8 p.m. Friday.
Where: Gamble Auditorium in Baldwin-Wallace College's Kulas Musical Arts Building, 96 Front St., Berea.
Tickets: Free. 440-826-2322.
Also: Vieaux appears on a program with bandoneon player Julien Labro, dancer Saundra Bohl and the Linden Quartet at 4 p.m. Sunday at Hanna Perkins Center, 19910 Malvern Rd., Shaker Heights. Tickets: $15-$40. Call 216-991-4472.

Curiosity may kill feline sorts, but evidently not cellists. Regina Mushabac believes her artistic health is served best when she spices up her beloved instrument's repertoire.

The recital that the faculty cellist at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music will give tonight is a perfect example of her inquisitive spirit. For most of the evening, she'll share the stage with classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music and internationally acclaimed artist on whom Mushabac heaps superlatives.

"He's brilliant, a stunning musician," says the cellist, who first performed with Vieaux last June. "We'll be talking and he just starts noodling around and these notes come flying out in an improvisatory way."

The pairing of cello and guitar might seem unusual to some listeners, but not to Vieaux, who made a compact disc with Korean cellist Young Song several years ago on the Stomp Music label. Half of the works are original pieces for guitar and cello. The rest are Vieaux arrangements of popular music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and others.

The program Vieaux and Mushabac will present tonight is similar to the format of the guitarist's disc. Bolivia's Jamie M. Zenamon and Brazil's Radames Gnattali wrote their respective pieces specifically for cello and guitar.

Amid these works and arrangements of music by Villa-Lobos and Jobim, Mushabac and Vieaux each will play a solo Bach piece: Suite No. 4 (cello) and Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998 (guitar, originally lute).
Courtesy of Guitars InternationalClassical guitarist Jason Vieaux is an internationally admired concert artist and faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

"Is that cheating, that we're not doing a whole program of duos?" asks Mushabac. "I've been playing for 53 of my 59 years. This is the first time I'm playing the fourth [Bach] suite. I'm thrilled. I always envy my students when they start a new piece."

Vieaux, whose solo Bach disc on Cleveland-based Azica Records is set for release later this month, is sold on the guitar-cello music he has performed with Song and Mushabac.

"The two instruments share similar range," he says. "There's a blend that's really nice, particularly when the cello plays in the upper register."

Like his Cleveland-area colleague, Vieaux is a member of an mutual admiration society.

"She has so much energy," he says of Mushabac. "She has incredible enthusiasm about the music, and it's really infectious. It's wonderful working with her."