I had the good fortune of attending both a masterclass and recital by Ana Vidovic, and have been quietly, desperately in love with this wonderful musician ever since. Unlike many performers of her talent and generation, Ms. Vidovic often gives masterclasses in the various cities in which she performs, allowing even the beginning player to benefit from her wisdom and experience. I, not being a guitarist, may have found some of her technical advice unfamiliar, but what was abundantly clear was her gift for communication and joy in helping a student achieve even a small measure of transcendence.
This same joy and clarity in communication becomes radiant in performance, and I recall being utterly transfixed during her recital. That program opened with Johann Sebastian Bach's sonata for solo violin in G, BWV 1001, which also opens this DVD, and Ms. Vidovic's love and respect for Bach should teach many a violinist how to play his first solo violin sonata with both musicality and intelligence. I should know, being a violinist and lover of Bach, and I never imagined that I would hear one of the most revelatory performances of a Bach solo violin sonata played by a guitarist!
Ana Vidovic has won awards, acclaim, and prizes around the world, and a brief look at her touring schedule on her website of the same name shows her dedication in giving back to that world, both in performance and teaching, and we are all grateful and the better for it.
For those who are unable to attend a live performance, this DVD provides the best, although still meager, alternative. The program includes some of the works with which she is most identified, including Bach's solo violin sonata in G, BWV 1001. The complete program includes
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) FIRST VIOLIN SONATA, BWV 1001 (arr. Manuel Barrueco)
Frederico Moreno Torroba (1891-1982) SONATINA
Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) GRANDE SONATA
William Walton (1902-1983) FIVE BAGATELLES
The DVD also has an interview with Ana Vidovic, showing her ease and beguiling personality during conversation. I myself have spoken only a few words with Ms. Vidovic, but even in that short exchange, her friendly, open manner was immediately engaging, and combined with her lambent and sublime performance, I knew I would never again meet such a one as her, and my life became both greater and smaller with that realization.