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Stretching Mertz Till It Hurts

Pavel Steidl's timeless playing

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Teacher, composer and, above all else, guitarist Pavel Steidl once bluntly stated: "I don't like metronomes." Listening to his recordings of the works of Baroque guitarist J.K. Mertz (available on the album J.K. Mertz: Barden-Klänge), it becomes obvious that Steidl does indeed ignore the dictatorial pace enforced by mechanistic devices. Steidl instead plays with a fluid respect for the music, stretching moments dramatically and creating small pauses here and there for reflection. In his hands, the music breathes and sighs with pleasure. The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society presents Pavel Steidl at 8 p.m. at the Ethical Society of St. Louis (9001 Clayton Road, Ladue; 314-567-5566). Some of Mertz's works are on the program, as well as pieces by Coste, Paganini and Legnani, all to be performed on period instruments. Steidl also performs his own compositions, plus those of Janacek and Albeniz on the modern guitar. All in all, a very full and lovely evening. Tickets are $16 to $18.
Sat., April 15

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