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Barone captivates The Center

by Audrey Anderson

Hometown Weekly Reporter

Francesco Barone, an award-winning classical guitarist, gave his audience a captivating performance at The Center at Medfield. The concert was presented as a collaboration of the Medfield Public Library and The Center at Medfield and as part of a New England Guitar Society event.

Extraordinarily talented, Barone has played on National Public Radio and in many prestigious guitar festivals in New England. He also teaches classical guitar at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH.

It was quite a change of pace to hear the sweet sounds of the unamplified guitar strings, as Barone picked the notes of each composition. At times, the music was soft and sweet or rhythmic or tonally surprising.

Barone walked into the room in an unassuming manner, with his handmade 6-string Spanish classical guitar. He sat down and related some helpful background on the J.S. Bach (1685-1750) piece he was about to play, Lute Suite in E Minor. He explained that the Lute Suite was written in the style of the “Doctrine of Affections,” with each movement expressing a single emotion. In this piece, the Prelude’s emotion was admiration, the Allemande’s was desire, the Courante’s was hubris, the Bourree’s was anger, and the Gigue’s was joy. As Barone played the piece, it was helpful to think of each movement’s emotion and hear how it was expressed in melody, rhythm, dynamics, and rests.

Barone played with his eyes closed, moving along with the music and showing his emotions with head tilts and eyebrow movements.

Next Barone played the Swiss Composer Frank Martins’s (1890-1974) Quatres Pièces Brèves. In this piece, the first and fourth movements are composed in the twelve-tone scale, instead of the eight-tone scale we are accustomed to. In these movements, the larger scale (including all halftones) allows for a richer melody, and the use of sustained ostinato sets up a longing for the return of the base notes. The movements in the piece were a Prelude, Air, Plainte, and Comme une Gigue.

The final piece Barone played was by Mauro Guiliano (1781-1829), Opus 150, Gran Sonata Eroica. Barone explained that this piece was written in a classical sonata form. It is ternary, like a three-act play with three characters that are melodies. In the Exposition, the three characters are introduced, in the Development section, the characters are extended into new territory, and in the Recapitulation, two of the characters return in a different key.

At the end of the concert, Barone was happy to talk with attendees and answer questions. He also shared his website,, where those who desire to could sign up for his mailing list.

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