Fall has arrived! With the crisp air come favored activities: Enjoying wonderful fruits and vegetables, making pies and jellies and jams, Football games, and Opening Concerts. What Fun! For quite a few years, I supported my children by spending many Friday evenings sitting in Bleachers and cheering. Truth be told, I paid more attention during “Halftime” than “Game time” due to the activities my kids favored. Those were happy Friday evenings for the most part. Now, I’m content to attend a few concerts when the leaves begin to turn fabulous colors.
To whet my appetite this fall, I chose to attend a Community Concert. Sponsored by Carmel Presbyterian Church, six local musicians gathered Friday, October 4, 2019 to offer a wide variety of music. There were solo pieces along with duets; even a Piano Trio. One of the organists at Carmel Presbyterian, Eun Ha Chung, was the busiest as she played solo pieces on the piano and the organ. She also served as accompanist for most of the other musicians. Eun Ha is a talented pianist. The instruments at Carmel Presbyterian Church were both used to their advantage.
To open the concert, Eun Ha played two pieces on the organ. Both were arrangements by well-known Baroque composers. The variety of sounds chosen was unconventional and entertaining. The music was performed with energy and flair. Janneke Hoogland, cello, continued with a lively performance of the Allemande from Suite No. 3 in C Major. For a change of pace, Janneke and Eun Ha teamed up to play an arrangement for cello and piano of Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. To continue our enjoyment of Romantic music, Eun Ha then welcomed area recitalist and piano teacher, Lyn Bronson to the stage. They played Rondo in D Major, Op 138, by Schubert for Piano Four Hands. To finish the Romantic selections, Eun Ha treated us to Chopin’s Etude in E Major, Op 10 No 3.
The youngest musician took the stage next. Elliott Cho, a violinist at Pacific Grove High School, played two movements from Sonata No. 3 in F Major by G. F. Handel accompanied on the piano by Eun Ha. After some rearrangement of the stands and chairs, David and Margie Dally, two members of the Monterey String Quartet, took the stage. We were treated to two movements from the Piano Trio in C Major by J. Haydn. One has to remember that the piano was the “new kid on the block” during the Classical era. Each instrument in the Trio has an equally demanding part. David Dally, violin, shared melodic leadership with Margie Dally, cello, and Eun Ha Chung, piano. Next came my favorite piece of the evening: Primavera Portena by A Piazzolla. Astor Piazzolla regularly arranged his own compositions for a variety of ensembles. For this concert, we heard an arrangement by J. Bragato. The catchy melodies with the jazzy rhythms caught our attention. To end the evening, Eun Ha played Toccata on “Amazing Grace” by J. C. Pardini on the organ.
This concert was a refreshing way to start out the 2019-2020 Season. I enjoyed the small ensembles and the solo instruments. Perhaps we’ll hear individual stops on the organ in the next Community Concert at Carmel Presbyterian Church. It could be on account of the venue, but my mind kept wandering back to last summer’s Bach Festival concerts. I kept wondering how the Haydn would have sounded played on a Forte-piano. The performers’ skill brought my mind back to the present with each selection they played. I hope to hear more area musicians in future Community Concerts.