On January 25, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, we heard a very special concert celebrating the renovation of a splendid 115-year-old Steinway 6’4″ grand piano originally donated by parishioner Harry Ogden in 1992. This instrument was recently totally rebuilt and refinished thanks to donations from church members.
This concert was a standing-room-only sellout — there were not enough printed programs so latecomers had to share. But for those of us fortunate enough to squeeze into the limited space, it was a very rewarding concert. The featured artists on this occasion were pianist Lucy Faridany, cellist Linda Mehrabian, and vocalists Jody Lee and Patty Pai.
We heard some unusual repertoire — how often have you heard works combining voice, cello and piano? Well we heard several of them during this concert by composers Fauré, César Franck, Debussy and Poulenc. Singers Lee and Pai impressed us with their lovely voices, superb musicianship and lovely shaping of phrases.
Cellist Linda Mehrabian has a beautiful rich sound and charmed us with her elegant playing in works by Gabriel Fauré and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The player with the largest role during the concert was Lucy Faridany, who always impresses us with her ability to get to the heart and soul of any work she performs. There is a naturalness to her playing, whether supporting others in ensemble playing or as a soloist, for on this occasion she performed Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu and Waltz in E Minor, Op. Posth, and and then blew us away with a powerful performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5.
We can hope that there will be many more concerts in the Church’s Music Series.