In his recital at the Phillips Gallery yesterday guitarist Gordon Kreplin played with an easy warmth that seemed to echo the genial atmosphere of the sunny Sunday afternoon. Clearly still in the process of developing his own style, Kreplin revealed a special sensitivity to melody and the confidence to pursue that gift. He gave himself time to follow the sensuous turns that abound in Spanish guitar music, imparting a langorous sense of space as the lines unfolded.
Choosing for the most part a traditional program of Spanish composers with an interlacing of Bach and Dowland, Kreplin showed that he is cultivating a carefully varied touch and finely shaded dynamics. His tempos tended to be on the slow side -- possibly because he seems to enjoy so thoroughly being steeped in shifting colors of sound -- and, on occasion, they were bent too far out of shape for structural comfort.
The opening set of Villa-Lobos preludes gave Kreplin a chance to explit the pleasing roundness of his tone. A Bach Lute Suite, though not under complete control, contained the basis for a solid interpretation. Some of his most individual playing came in a set of variations by Sor, with which he seemed thoroughly at home, and a contemporary piece by R. Smith Brindle, deftly exploiting the guitar's expressive possibilities.