Author Archives: Dr. Gary Lemco

Vienna Transfigured

The “City of my Dreams,” Vienna, provided the spectacular venue for the last of the [email protected] concert series, 2018, Saturday, August 4 at the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. Music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, and Schoenberg found vibrant, uplifting realization by ensembles thoroughly engaged in style and temperament, concluding the program not so much by frantic applause, but by that thoughtful, mesmerized quiet that followed the long-held, evaporating chords from Schoenberg’s 1899 sextet after the poem by Richard Dehmel. Read full story

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


[email protected] — Ich bin Berliner

The city of Berlin provided the cultural venue for the indubitably successful concert from [email protected], Saturday, July 28, at the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. Music by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Mendelssohn elicited a series of dazzling ensembles in seamless harmony, since each of the representative composers had found in Berlin receptive sponsors who fostered their artistic growth or challenged their native ingenuity. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Classical Era


From Russia, With Love

The [email protected] Festival staged a diversely colorful, eminently successful concert Saturday, July 21 as part of the “Creative Capitals” rubric for the summer season.  The concert at The Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton focused on St. Petersburg, which Peter the Great (1703) meant to serve as a “Western” mecca of artistic culture, and which composer-virtuoso Anton Rubinstein guaranteed with his having established the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in 1862.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano


The Perils of Perfection: SF Symphony and Daniil Trifonov

 

Music by Sibelius and Rachmaninov provided the intense musical landscapes traversed by the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting, for the series June 21-24 at Davies Hall. The first half of the concert, devoted to the last two Sibelius symphonies, projected as consummate a sense of orchestral homogeneity and sumptuousness of tone as has been my privilege to experience. Guest pianist Daniil Trifonov joined the orchestra for a massive rendition of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto, the much-familiar score’s here having received an idiosyncratic interpretation that makes us wonder what happens when a flawless technical command has nowhere to go than “other.” Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Concerto, Orchestral, Romantic Era


Rachmaninoff: Known and Unknown


A program of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s familiar and unfamiliar liturgical and concerted choral compositions provided the basis of a recital by the Slavyanka Chorus and assorted musicians, Saturday, June 9, at the First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, Irina Shachneva, conductor. Slavyanka embodies a 40-member chorus established in 2000, the name’s having been taken from the old Russian version of Northern California’s Russian River. In 2010, Irina Shachneva founded the International Rachmaninoff Music Festival in Boston. Ms. Shachneva has since led performances of the Rachmaninoff Vespers at various venues, including Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory and St. Petersburg’s Glinka Capella. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Orchestral