Author Archives: Dr. Gary Lemco

Elastic Brio: Menlo’s Overture Concert

An inspiring, rare moment of collaboration marked the Friday, August 2nd Overture Concert at [email protected]’s Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton, the occasion’s inviting young, International Program artists to share the stage with seasoned veterans, in the spirit of musical pedagogy and performance-practice. In music by Beethoven, Franck, and Brahms, the participants emanated a thoroughly integrated and often feverishly intense series of performances that point to the active musicians’ futures as much as to their appreciation of past masters, a thoroughly happy meeting of youthful hopes and experienced professionals.                                             

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


Masterful: [email protected]’s Concert Program V

Photo by Anna Kariel

A quartet of diverse, post-Romantic composers comprised the July 26 Concert Program V of [email protected]’s ongoing survey of Incredible Decades, 1890-1900: Moscow to Montmartre, held at The Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. Music by Joseph Suk, Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms, and Sergei Rachmaninov provided masterful vehicles for a literal pageant of accomplished participants while expanding our own horizons on the repertory of this fertile period of imaginative creation.

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


Sonorous Sweep: The Romantic Revolution at Menlo

Photo by Anna Kariel

While only three chamber music works comprised the [email protected] concert of the July 26 Concert Program No. IV at The Center for Performing Arts, Menlo-Atherton, the brilliant artistry by which these works – Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D MinorOp. 63; Chopin’s Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65; and Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87 – found realization so illuminating that they seemed to exemplify their motivic rubric, “1840-1850: The Romantic Revolution.”

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Archived in these categories: Chamber music, Romantic Era


Rarified: Juho Pohjonen in Recital

Juho Pohjonen

In a rare moment of programming, Finnish virtuoso pianist Juho Pohjonen selected two composers of distinct musical personality, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) and Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), as the subjects of his marathon Carte Blanche recital at [email protected]’s Stent Family Hall, Saturday, July 20. Having been appointed Compositeur du Cabinet du Roi in 1745, Rameau had created a series of harpsichord suites consisting of both dance pieces and ‘character’ elements, those possessing programmatic or picturesque associations. Innately intellectual, Rameau nonetheless sought to express music of strong feeling, tenderness, and sensibility, what he calls “the language of the heart.” The mystical Russian, Scriabin, for his part, embarked on a totally subjective form of expression, a kind of post-Romantic solipsism, a musical reality defined by his own ego – invested with musical means  adopted from Chopin, Schumann and Liszt – but transmogrified into a ‘philosophy of light,’ commensurate with the paintings of J.W.N. Turner or the religious poetry of William Blake, a vision of revealed ecstasies. Pohjonen chose three sonatas composed 1912-1913 by Scriabin: the 6th, 8thand 10thSonatas, a triptych that might have itself mounted an amazing, emblazoned arch of rapture, albeit impinged upon by moments of sinister mystery.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Piano


[email protected]: Incredible Decades

Photo credit: Anna Kariel

Under the rubric “Incredible Decades,” [email protected]enlo presented Concert Program II of its Seventeenth Season on Wednesday, July 17, with a veritable feast of Classical color, manifested in the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. This night’s decade, 1790-1800, entitled “Beethoven Launched,” had the audience at The Center for the Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton in consistent thrall as a grand array of musicians realized diversely rich scores in vivacious and infectious ensemble. 

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Archived in these categories: Chamber music, Classical Era