- Carmel Bach Festival 2018 — St. Matthew Passion
- Opening Night — Carmel Bach Festival’s 81st Season
- Carmel Bach Festival showcases Andrew Arthur and Robert Farley in a Trumpet & Organ Concert
- Emil & Nozomi Khudyev in Recital
- Violinist Kyung Wha Chung & Pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami Recital
- Pianist Dang Thai Son opens Chopin Festival in Miami
- Alexey Trushechkin Recital in Aptos
- The Perils of Perfection: SF Symphony and Daniil Trifonov
- Aria’s “Divagain”
- Hartnell Community Choir at Church of the Wayfarer
- Rachmaninoff: Known and Unknown
- Carmel Music Society’s 2018 Piano Competition Awards Concert
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Author Archives: Beverly Dekker-Davidson
The Carmel Bach Festival’s official Opening Night is Saturday, July 14, at Sunset Center. However, on Monday, July 9 we had the privilege of hearing a pre-festival chamber concert at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church featuring two of the festival’s most distinguished musicians, organist Andrew Arthur and trumpeter Robert Farley — it was a revelation. Trumpeter, Robert Farley, played a baroque instrument and exhibited amazing technical mastery and stunningly gorgeous high notes. An organist friend of mine said of organist Andrew Arthur’s playing that he used all of the instrument’s possible sounds. What a succinct observation. Arthur is meticulously accurate in his playing and really knows how to use restraint, if needed, as the best way to bring out contrasting subtlety in an instrument. At St. Dunstan’s we were hearing the Church’s gorgeous two-year-old Dobson pipe organ, which sounds especially lovely in baroque compositions.
The program began with the Abblasen Fanfare for solo natural trumpet by Gottfried Reiche. Mr. Farley played in C and D, using the slider to give it a baroque D Tuning. Next came a solo organ work by J.S. Bach, the Prelude and fugue in C major, BWV 545. This was our introduction on this occasion to Arthur’s masterful style of performing. There is a natural ease about his playing, as phrases and motives evolve naturally and beautifully at every step.
Next the two artists played Suite for Organ and Trumpet by VivianI. This is in an early Baroque style, and was composed between 1637-1693. It had some interesting variety in that it began with an Andante movement, followed by an allegro movement in the toccata and then closed with an adagio — ending quietly and with gorgeous sonority.
The Chorale Suite for Organ by Bernardo Pasquini featured five chorales, all based on Vater unser im Himmelreich. Next we were treated to an satisfying series of Chorale Preludes by Bach, Scheidemann, Buxtehude, Bohm and with one more Bach Chorale Prelude, BWV 90, concluding the set. What a gorgeous exploration of the registrations available to this instrument — truly wonderful baroque sounds.
Next the audience was treated to the the Suite for Organ and Trumpet by Fantini (1638-1693)” and a series of shorter works by Frescobaldi. Prior to the baroque the trumpet had been primarily used for military and ceremonial fanfares. Fantini’s Suite explored the instrument’s ability to produce beautiful solo-lines. Fantini was the “most excellent trumpeter in all of Italy, ” and during a visit to Rome in 1634 he developed these suites with Frescobaldi and played a concert with him. They are most satisfying pieces.
Andrew Arthur also added a piece by Nicolaus Bruins, which turned out to be a great surprise, for It was also extraordinarily witty. The concert ended with the Corelli Sonata in D Major for Strings and trumpet. Andrew Arthur arranged this piece by Corelli, and it brought a stunning conclusion to the concert with full organ and trumpet taking us “over the top.” It has amazing melody and was a full throated ending to this concert, one of the first in the 81st season of the Carmel Bach Festival 2018.
Organist Tiffany Bedner
So often I feel incredibly fortunate to live on the Monterey Peninsula. Not only for its physical beauty, but also for its creative and artistic energy. On Friday night I attended the MPC String Ensemble concert conducted by David Dally at the Carmel Mission Basilica, and not surprisingly, the Carmel Mission’s beautiful ambiance significantly enhanced the music we were hearing. The program began with an organ and string setting of Bach’s famous D minor Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565. I had never heard it before in its arrangement for strings and organ, and this performance turned out to be powerful and compelling. The featured organist was Tiffany Bedner, the regular organist at the Mission. Her playing was clean and elegant, with the strings complimenting her sound. Together they gave us a very satisfying performance of this great work.
Jonathan Dimmock is very impressive, as is the instrument and sanctuary at St. Dunstan’s Church in Mid Valley. Prior to the concert there was a reception in the hall with high end wines and home baked goods. About thirty minutes prior to the six pm beginning of the concert, the organist, Jonathon Dimmock came out to do a short preconcert lecture. It made all the difference in understanding the music we were about to hear. Dimmock is a graduate of Oberlin and Yale and studied with French composer, Olivier Messien, as well as other musical luminaries. Dimmock is bright and down to earth — a joy to hear, both in lecture and in concert. He has been an organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine in New York City and at at a Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He is currently the principle organist at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts as well as a frequent soloist with the San Francisco Symphony. As interesting to musicians and non musicians alike is the fact that he is the founder of the Resonance Project which seeks to use music to help resolve international conflicts. What a bargain this concert series is at $20 a ticket.
My experience on Saturday, December 9, 2017, during the continuation of the St. Dunstans Organ Series was a superbly satisfying one. The organist, Angela Kraft Cross, has an MD in Opthamaolgy as well as an MA in piano performance. She is also utterly gracious and connects with her audience, giving brief, thorough, yet charming, introductions before each set of pieces she played so we can better understand her selections. Read full story
David Hatt presented an organ recital on October 27 at St Dunstans Church This was such an interesting and very musical concert, with the organ starring, as it always does. It is a beautiful instrument both in sound and sight, and David Hatt masterfully presented so many of it’s colors. He played Baroque and modern pieces that evoked a great variety of dimensions in a presentation called “From Logic to Dreams.” In the logic part of the program we heard Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, and Max Reger, all played with splendid registrations. Read full story