Author Archives: Dr. Gary Lemco

Palpable Intimacies: The Atos Trio in Recital

Some concerts require no encore: the Atos Trio performed music of Turina, Mendelssohn, and Schubert for the Steinway Society, Sunday, March 4 at the Petit Trianon Theatre. Before a small but decidedly enraptured audience, the Trio – celebrating its 15th year of collaboration – displayed a consistent level of ensemble and spontaneous, insightful musicianship as to elevate them to the upper echelons of chamber music performers. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Piano, Piano trio, Romantic Era

Takacs String Quartet – Intense and Introspective

Takacs String Quartet

A select but highly gratified audience welcomed the renowned Takacs String Quartet — Edward Dusinberre and Karoly Schranz, violins; Geraldine Walther, viola; and Andras Fejer, cello — to Stanford’s Bing Hall, Friday, February 23 as part of the Stanford Live series of concerts. For music of Schubert and Beethoven the Takacs performed independently; but for the imposing, Romantic Op. 1 of Erno von Dohnanyi, his Piano Quintet in C Minor, the ensemble enjoyed the inestimable talents of Marc-Andre Hamelin, who provided an exemplary complement in a work that well embraces a musical tradition established by Schumann and Brahms. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Chamber music, Classical Era, Romantic Era, String quartet

Lean and Lyrical – A Recital by James Ehnes

Sporting his abundantly resonant 1715 “Marsick” Stradivarius, violinist James Ehnes, with the keyboard collaboration of Orion Weiss, presented a fine display of lyricism and virtuosity in his program for Chamber Music San Francisco at the JCC Palo Alto, Monday, February 12. Often labeled “the Heifetz of today,” Mr. Ehnes intoned the music of Beethoven, Poulenc, and Richard Strauss less with the burnished Heifetz wizardry than with the lean, elegantly virile style of Heifetz’s most apt and commercially successful protégé, Erick Friedman.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Violin

Gentle Ecstasies: Master Sinfonia in Concert

David Ramanadoff, Conductor

The Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, David Ramanadoff conducting, presented a fine concert, Sunday afternoon, January 28, at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, with a program of Vaughan Williams, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Veteran pianist Hans Boepple made excellent sense of Mozart’s valedictory Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595, ingratiating its exquisite contours in a manner that several times took this reviewer back to the “golden” pianism of Sir Clifford Curzon, especially in the E-flat Major Larghetto. The final work, Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony, the “Scottish,” received from Ramanadoff a clear and controlled reading, as expansive as it proved eminently lyrical and dramatic. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Concerto, Orchestral, Piano, Romantic Era

Exquisite Economy: A Recital by Kenny Broberg

With a spellbound audience still in thrall, Kenny Broberg raised his hands away from the keyboard, Sunday afternoon, January 21 at Le Petit Trianon, having just executed a titanic rendition of the Liszt Sonata in B Minor that immediately garnered a paroxysm of praise. Mr. Broberg appeared under the auspices of the Steinway Society the Bay Area in music by Franck, Bach, Debussy, and Liszt, in which each selection demonstrated the structural economy of imaginative materials, deftly transfigured into brilliant keyboard vehicles.

Broberg opened with Harold Bauer’s 1910 transcription of Cesar Franck’s finely chiseled organ piece, Prelude, Fugue and Variation (1862), which Franck dedicated to another skilled organist, Camille Saint-Saens. The piece opens with a graceful simplicity in Franck’s favorite B Minor, with a tender, flowing melody not far from Bach’s Liebster Jesuwir sind hier. The pattern that ensues involves askew five-bar phrases, each rounded out in the manner Schumann employs to achieve “classical” architecture. Before the three-voice Fugue section opens, it, too, has a brief prelude. The Variation part simply reintroduces the opening motif accompanied by fast-moving figures. Broberg made the work eminently clear, polished, and refined, his pedal a model of graduated dynamics. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Piano, Romantic Era