Review and video by Joel Patterson
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany has a storied past when it comes to musical performances, and that tradition continues to this day. Zack Cohen – a true wunderkind of the Spanish-flavored cuisine of classical guitar – brought his searing and yet delicate mastery of that genre to the Cathedral last Sunday, and there was something quite fitting for him to play the Barrios’ standard “La Catedral” in an actual, legitimate cathedral… especially one with a vibrant music program.
Zack tells the story that when he first heard this particular piece years ago, it so captured his imagination that his whole career swerved into the direction of acoustic classical guitar. “It caught my ear. It was the most beautiful piece of music I had ever heard up to that time,” he recalls. “And it was like – I don’t play classical guitar, but I have to learn this piece of music!”
He continues, “There’s a really interesting story that goes along with it. It’s about Barrios walking into a cathedral, and being overcome with emotion, having a religious experience. And he tries to convey all the different angles of that emotion. And it really hit me hard.”
I guess it’s the way legends are born, huh? Out of the blue, they just happen.
Zack also hosts one of the region’s premier open mic sessions at the Daily Grind in Troy at 8pm every Thursday.